Former Vice President Joe Biden will soon have a potential vice president of his own.
Biden will announce his running mate next week, he said in a Tuesday press conference. "I'm going to have a choice in the first week in August," Biden said, promising reporters "I'll let you know when I do." Biden has said he will pick a woman as his running mate, and protests over systemic racism in America have raised arguments that he should select a Black woman.
Sens. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), both formerly presidential contenders themselves, have gotten a lot of attention as potential vice presidential candidates. Meanwhile Obama administration National Security Adviser Susan Rice would be the VP pick Biden knows best, a source close to Biden said Tuesday. Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Rep. Val Demings (D-Fla.), and Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms are also reportedly in serious consideration. Kathryn Krawczyk
Even though Biden hasn't announced an official run or even an exploratory committee, primary polls have consistently put him on top of the extra large Democratic field. He's reportedly joined potential opponents in discussing a run with former President Barack Obama, and in recent weeks, upped his likelihood of running "from 70, to 80 and even more recently 90 percent," Democrats and party figures tell NBC News. He's also reportedly called and congratulated some 2020 candidates on their announcements, despite saying in December he's "the most qualified person in the country to be president."
Biden has also gone so far as to threaten to physically fight President Trump, so there's no concern over his willingness to rumble. He's just worried about "reprehensible" attacks on his family — something Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) explained when speaking with NBC News after consulting with Biden about 2020. "Trump demonstrated in the 2016 election an enthusiasm for attacking not just his opponents but his family, including famously by making things up," Coons said, adding that he thinks Biden should "let others take up the mantle of defending his family."
Still, Biden has a few more "gut-check conversations with his children and grandchildren" to check off before making a final decision, NBC News says. Read more about his reservations at NBC News. Kathryn Krawczyk
In an interview with Snapchat's "Good Luck America," set for release on Tuesday and previewed by The Associated Press on Sunday, Biden, who ran for president in 1998 and 2008, said he wants to help cultivate new leaders in the Democratic Party but is open to running again if "no one steps up. I'm not doing anything to run. I'm not taking names, I'm not raising money, I'm not talking to anybody, but something's got to happen."
Biden, 74, did consider running in 2016, but was left reeling by the death of his son, Beau, from brain cancer, and decided against it. He told Oprah Winfrey in an interview that aired Sunday on her network he is a "great respecter of fate," and while he's healthy now, "I don't know ... what things are going to be two years from now. ... I promise you ... I'm going to go out there and continue to do what I've done since I've been 26 years old: holler." Catherine Garcia
For the third time since Monday, Vice President Joe Biden refused to rule out the possibility of a presidential run in 2020 in an interview with CNN's Jake Tapper that aired Sunday.
"Four years is a lifetime in American politics," Biden said. "And I think nominees are determined by their parties based mostly on what skill set is most needed at that time. And who knows where we're going to be two years from now, when people are really starting to look seriously at what they're going to do." The outgoing veep previously said 2020 might be on the table Monday after a Senate session and Tuesday on Stephen Colbert's Late Show.
The conversation with Tapper also covered the 2016 election — "the most vicious campaign, the craziest campaign, I’ve ever witnessed" — and Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), President-elect Donald Trump's attorney general nominee. In 1986, Biden refused to support Sessions' nomination to a federal judgeship on the grounds that Sessions had made racist remarks, but 30 years later, he told Tapper that though he "wouldn't have appointed Jeff," people can learn and change.
Watch Biden's full comments about 2020 below. Bonnie Kristian