Michigan Governor Discussed Being Biden’s Running Mate With Campaign

May 19, 2020 Updated: May 19, 2020

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said she had a discussion with presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s campaign.

Whitmer, asked May 19 whether she was aware of inclusion in Biden’s search for a running mate, said she had an “opening conversation” with the campaign.

“It’s not something that I would call a professional, formalized vetting,” she said during an appearance on NBC’s “Today” show.

“I’ve had a conversation with some folks, but the fact of the matter is all of my energy is going into helping my state through this crisis unlike one that we’ve seen in a hundred years in this country.”

Whitmer, a first-term Democrat, has maintained a consistent presence on national television for months, regularly appearing on cable news programs and late night shows.

It was the first time she acknowledged being a possible vice presidential candidate.

Epoch Times Photo
(L–R) Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), former Vice President Joe Biden, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, and Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), at a campaign rally at Renaissance High School in Detroit, Mich., on March 9, 2020. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Biden said in March that Whitmer was on his list of possible running mates.

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham reportedly told several people in recent days that the Biden campaign started vetting her.

The former vice president has said his partner will be a woman who is younger than him. He has laid down no other definitive restrictions.

Whitmer said she was carving out time to stay connected to Biden’s campaign but said her main focus is on governing her state.

Other potential vice presidential picks are Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), ex-national security adviser Susan Rice, and former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, who recently appeared with Biden on television.

Biden last month formed a panel that is helping him select his running mate.

The committee is headed by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-Del.), former Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.), and Cynthia Hogan, Biden’s former counsel.

Follow Zachary on Twitter: @zackstieber