Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota took herself out of contention to be Joe Biden’s running mate Thursday, saying the Democratic nominee should select a woman of color for the ticket as the country grapples with racial injustice.
“This is a historic moment and America must seize on this moment,” Klobuchar said in an interview with Lawrence O’Donnell on MSNBC. “And I truly believe, as I actually told the vice president last night when I called him, that I think this is a moment to put a woman of color on that ticket.”
Biden has vowed to choose a female running mate and he has come under increasing pressure to pick a woman of color as protests over police brutality and racism have intensified in recent weeks.
The protests were sparked by the death of a Black man in the custody of the Minneapolis police on May 25. The incident has renewed criticism of Klobuchar’s past experience as a tough-on-crime prosecutor in that city.
Representative Jim Clyburn, whose endorsement helped Biden win the South Carolina primary and set him on the path to the nomination, said the protests after Floyd’s death were “tough timing” for Klobuchar.
In the MSNBC interview, Klobuchar said: “I think I could have functioned fine and there’s a lot of untruths out there about my record and now is not the time to debate them.”
The women of color now under consideration for the Democratic ticket include another of Biden’s former nomination rivals, Senator Kamala Harris of California, as well as Representative Val Demings of Florida, former Georgia state Representative Stacey Abrams, former National Security Adviser Susan Rice and Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms.
Klobuchar competed with Biden for the nomination but withdrew from the race and endorsed her former rival, becoming a frequent surrogate on the campaign trail.
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