Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden said Wednesday that he would consider former 2020 contenders Beto O’Rourke and Julián Castro as running mates or members of his Cabinet should he get the party’s nomination.
“I would consider either or both of them. I’ve spoken to each of them,” Biden told the Dallas Morning News. “My plea to both of them is that they stay engaged. They are talented, talented people.”
O’Rourke made headlines during the 2018 congressional elections when the former Texas congressman nearly ousted conservative Senator Ted Cruz in the deep-red state. He garnered early attention after launching his presidential bid but suspended his campaign in November after being outshone by Biden and other candidates.
Castro served with Biden in the Obama administration as secretary of Housing and Urban Development. He dropped his 2020 bid earlier this month after a year of campaigning and endorsed Senator Elizabeth Warren.
Biden said in August that he would prefer to choose a woman or a person of color as his running mate. He also remarked on Tuesday that he would consider Senator Kamala Harris, who dropped out of the presidential race early last month, for “anything that she would be interested in,” including as his running mate.
“Whomever I pick, preferably it will be someone who was of color and/or a different gender, but I’m not making that commitment until I know that the person I’m dealing with I can completely and thoroughly trust as authentic and on the same page,” the former vice president said.
As a former presidential running mate himself to President Barack Obama, Biden said the main quality he would prioritize in a potential vice president is being “simpatico” with his values.
Obama “knew that he and I had the same value set and the same political disposition as what we should do, and he knew if I ever had any doubt, I would come back to him,” Biden said last year.
Biden currently leads in polling among Democratic 2020 candidates at 27 percent, with Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren behind him, according to the Real Clear Politics average of polls.