Stacey Abrams shot down rumors Wednesday that she was considering a return to politics as a running mate to Joe Biden, under a scenario that would have put the former vice president at the top of the 2020 presidential ticket.
“The idea is to take you as a vice president to bolster his numbers in the primary. What do you think about that?” The View host Joy Behar asked Abrams, a former Georgia gubernatorial candidate.
“I think you don’t run for second place,” Abrams said, prompting cheers from both the audience and other women on the panel.
“If I’m going to enter a primary, then I’m going to enter a primary. And if I don’t enter the primary, my job is to make certain that the best Democrat becomes the nominee, and whoever wins the primary that we make certain that person gets elected in 2020.”
Rumors that Biden and Abrams might run on the same ticket were first floated in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution newspaper and then widely disseminated by other news media.
Abrams, the former Georgia House minority leader, was one of the most closely-watched candidates of the 2018 cycle, losing a gubernatorial race to then-Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp (R).
She narrowly lost that race in a contest marred by widespread allegations of voter suppression by Kemp, who at the time held the office of secretary of state — the official responsible for overseeing election balloting.
In the months since the vote, Abrams has been talked about as a potential presidential contender, and she’s been open about considering the possibility, tweeting earlier this month that running for president in 2020 is “definitely on the table.”
In #LeadFromTheOutside, I explore how to be intentional about plans, but flexible enough to adapt. 20 years ago, I never thought I’d be ready to run for POTUS before 2028. But life comes at you fast – as I shared in Q&A w @Yamiche at @sxsw. Now 2020 is definitely on the table…
— Stacey Abrams (@staceyabrams) March 11, 2019
Asked Wednesday if she would consider a ticket with Biden as her vice president, Abrams said, “I am open to all number of options right now. I’ve got plenty of time on my hands.”
In addition to potentially entering the presidential primary, Abrams said she is considering running for Senate or running for governor again. Abrams also said she would consider joining Biden on the ticket if he were to become the nominee.
“Running in a primary to be vice president is very different than someone who has been selected by the party as the nominee asking you to serve as a partner, and I am open to all options,” she said.
Biden, for his part, has been talked about as a likely candidate for several months now, yet he’s repeatedly delayed making a decision. A recent Washington Post article suggested the former vice president was concerned about the likely attacks President Donald Trump would spring on his family, although problematic political and personal stories from his past have been thrust back into the spotlight as the speculation continues.
At an event in New York Tuesday, Biden reflected on Justice Clarence Thomas’ Supreme Court confirmation hearings and said he wishes he “could have done something” to prevent attacks by his fellow lawmakers on Anita Hill, the attorney who testified that Thomas, while her boss in Washington, had sexually harassed her.
As the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Biden certainly could have done something, including allowing the three women who Hill said could back up her allegations to testify.
Abrams herself has — without using his name — called out Biden’s handling of the hearings.
“I remember the Anita Hill hearings vividly, watching those men in power deny her humanity,” she told Marie Claire during a recent interview.
“So to see women in this moment — especially in light of who occupies the White House — refuse to be dissuaded from demanding their equality, agency, and equity is a testament to the resilience we possess.”