Speaking with reporters on Tuesday, the former vice president suggested the timing was not set in stone, however: "I promise I’ll let you know when I do"

By Adam Carlson
July 29, 2020 10:59 AM

Former Vice President Joe Biden told reporters on Tuesday he is getting very close to announcing his running mate to face President Donald Trump in November's election — but he suggested the timing is his and his alone. Everyone else will have to wait and see.

The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee was asked about his ticket while taking questions during a campaign event in Wilmington, Delaware, about his "Build Back Better economic agenda" to "deal with systemic racism and advance racial equity."

A reporter asked Biden, 77, about the time-table for a selection for his vice presidential candidate, how many finalists he was reviewing and if he would be able to meet them in person during the novel coronavirus pandemic.

"What I said was that I’m gonna have a choice in the first week in August, and I promise I’ll let you know when I do," he replied.

He also joked about the difficulty about even trying to meet with potential running mates, given the media scrutiny: "I'm gonna try to figure out how to trick y’all so I can meet with them in person. You got crews outside my house — I don’t think it matters, actually."

More seriously, he said "we’ll see" about meeting the candidates in person.

Former Vice President Joe Biden
Mark Makela/Getty Images

Biden's running-mate search has been closely followed, as is the case for every presidential nominee's ticket.

He has promised he will choose a woman, and some lawmakers have publicly urged him to choose a woman of color, given the nationwide demonstrations against racial injustice since George Floyd's death in May.

The Biden campaign has long declined to publicly discuss the search for his vice presidential candidate, but there are thought to be 10 or so women still in the mix. Among them are California Sen. Kamala Harris — seen as the top choice by many outside observers — and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a leading progressive politician. Both women also unsuccessfully ran for the Democratic nomination this year.

Other names on the shortlist include Florida Rep. Val Demings, a former police chief; Illinois Sen. Tammy Duckworth, who served as an Army pilot in the Iraq War; and New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham.

Former Vice President Joe Biden
Former Vice President Joe Biden's notes from a Tuesday campaign event

Along with Biden's answer on Tuesday about the timing of his pick, he fueled further speculation on Harris' prospects when photographs showed his notes for the event and the question-and-answer included positive talking points about her.

However, on Monday Politico had published a story quoting a member of Biden's search committee speaking critically of Harris.

Biden's notes from Tuesday called Harris "talented" and a "great help to [the] campaign." His notes also mentioned "Department of Justice Reform" and other issues.

A Biden campaign spokesman did not comment on the record.