World

Biden to start considering running mates, consults Obama

NEW YORK: US Democratic presidential front runner Joe Biden said on Sunday he needed to start vetting possible running mates "in a matter of weeks" and that he had discussed the pick with former president Barack Obama.

Mr Biden's vice-presidential options will include at least six or seven women who will be subjected to background checks, he told donors at a fund-raising event held by telephone.

"I have to start that vetting process relatively soon, meaning in a matter of weeks," he said. "I think there will be a group that is in excess of six or seven people who I'll look at."

Mr Biden said at a Democratic debate last week that he would pick a woman for the job, which he reiterated on Sunday.

QUALIFIED

He emphasised the woman would have to agree with his fundamental view on policies, including healthcare, education and the need for expansive US influence in the world.

Above all, the person would need to be qualified to serve as president immediately.

Mr Biden holds a strong lead over Senator Bernie Sanders, his lone remaining rival for the party's nomination to face Republican President Donald Trump in November's election.

Sidelined from campaigning in public because of the coronavirus, Mr Biden said he would start broadcasting yesterday from his home in Delaware.

This will give him a way to offer an alternative to the daily news conferences on the coronavirus held by Mr Trump, whose disaster response Mr Biden has criticised.

Mr Biden added that the election should move forward as scheduled amid concerns the coronavirus may not be fully contained by November. Some states have pushed back presidential nominating contests.

"We voted in the middle of the Civil War, we voted in the middle of World War I and II. The idea of postponing the electoral process seems to me out of the question." - REUTERS

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