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U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar defended her record and her viability as Joe Biden’s running mate but still pulled her name from consideration.
The Minnesota Democrat and former 2020 presidential candidate withdrew from a list of potential vice presidential picks for Biden on Thursday, saying this is the “moment to put a woman of color” on his ticket instead.
Klobuchar noted in an MSNBC interview that the country is currently experiencing a “historic moment,” referring to recent weeks of civil unrest that were sparked by the death of George Floyd in her home state.
“What case would you make at this point in the campaign for the senior senator from Minnesota as the vice-presidential candidate?” MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell asked the lawmaker on Thursday.
“You know, Lawrence, I have never, as you probably know in many shows, since I endorsed the vice president on that joyful night in Dallas, I have never commented on this process at all,” Klobuchar replied after a laugh.
“But let me tell you this,” she added. “After what I have seen in my state, what I have seen across the country, this is a historic moment and America must seize on this moment.”
“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,” Klobuchar said. “And there are so many incredibly qualified women. But if you want to heal this nation right now, my party, yes, but our nation, this is sure a hell of a way to do it.”
Biden, who was endorsed by Klobuchar as she suspended her own 2020 White House bid in March, responded to the news with a message to the senator on Twitter.
“Amy — from the moment you announced you were running for president in a snowstorm, it wasn’t hard to see you had the grit and determination to do anything you set your mind to,” Biden tweeted. “You know how to get things done. With your help, we’re going to beat Donald Trump.”
Amy — from the moment you announced you were running for president in a snowstorm, it wasn’t hard to see you had the grit and determination to do anything you set your mind to. You know how to get things done. With your help, we’re going to beat Donald Trump. https://t.co/4kquPZtSV9
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) June 19, 2020
“I hope you know this doesn’t get you out of any Women for Biden events especially in Minnesota!” Biden senior adviser Symone Sanders joked in a tweet.
.@amyklobuchar I hope you know this doesn’t get you out of any Women for Biden events especially in Minnesota! 🙂 Grateful for your introspection, your passion & your insight. We appreciate all you’ve done for our campaign Senator!! Happy to be in this fight with you!
— Symone D. Sanders (@SymoneDSanders) June 19, 2020
Klobuchar’s decision came just weeks after she initially refused to withdraw her vice-presidential bid amid criticism over her criminal justice record. Civil rights activists attacked the Democrat’s failure to prosecute officers involved in several police-involved fatalities during her stint as Hennepin County attorney from 1999 to 2006, according to a report by the Star Tribune last month.
She was also accused of failing to get charges brought against Derek Chauvin for a 2006 shooting. The former Minneapolis police officer has been charged with second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in Floyd’s death.
Klobuchar slammed the allegations against her as a “bold-faced lie” when confronted amid the unfolding riots protests that engulfed parts of Minneapolis.
Biden is expected to make his announcement of vice presidential running mate by August 1, as many have been speculating he could choose his former primary rival, Sen. Kamala Harris of California.
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