Trump takes credit for Abrams’ defeat, says Biden should pick Warren as running mate

Caption
It's Trump vs. Biden this November

President Donald Trump said his presumptive November election opponent, Joe Biden, should choose Elizabeth Warren as his running mate.

"I think Elizabeth Warren is responsible for Joe Biden's win because she didn't drop out and [Vermont Sen.] Bernie [Sanders] would have won every single state on Super Tuesday," Trump told The New York Post on Monday.

Trump also claimed credit for helping Brian Kemp defeat Stacey Abrams — widely rumored as a potential Biden running mate — to win Georgia’s 2018 gubernatorial race.

ExploreSign up for our Election 2020 newsletter

“If you look at Stacey Abrams, I was the one that went to Georgia and fought Oprah Winfrey, Barack Obama, Michelle Obama,” he said. “They were there all the time campaigning for Stacey Abrams, their new great star. That didn’t work out too well.

“Kemp wasn’t given a chance. Kemp wasn’t given a chance to win and he won.”

Credit: AJC

Caption
Michelle Obama's voter registration group supports mail-in voting

Credit: AJC

Biden has committed to choosing a female running mate, and at least a dozen candidates are being vetted by his vice presidential committee. Abrams is among those reportedly being considered.

Other names reportedly under consideration include Warren and fellow U.S. Sens. Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Catherine Cortez Masto and Kirsten Gillibrand; Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer; U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard; and former Attorney General Sally Yates, among others.

Credit: AJC

Caption
Women who could become Joe Biden's running mate

Credit: AJC

But Trump said Biden “owes” Warren the top spot on his ticket because “Warren, more than any other person, including [South Carolina Rep.] Jim Clyburn and including anybody you can name, is responsible for the win of Joe Biden.”

»MORE: Women who could become Joe Biden’s running mate

Biden told MSNBC's the Rev. Al Sharpton during the weekend "there is significantly more than one black woman" being considered.

Black voters and leaders argue that Biden’s success — and that of the Democratic Party as a whole — depends on black people turning out to vote in November. They want a tangible return for their loyalty, not just a thank-you for showing up on Election Day.

Credit: AJC

Caption
Trump slams mail-in voting

Credit: AJC

“Black people want an acknowledgement of the many years of support they have given the Democratic Party,” said Niambi Carter, a Howard University political science professor.

Clyburn, whose endorsement in South Carolina was widely credited with helping widen Biden’s winning margin and start his avalanche of March primary victories, said “clearly” he would prefer a black woman. But he insisted he’s not pushing Biden in that direction.

“I’m the father of three grown African American women. So naturally I prefer an African American woman, but it doesn’t have to be,” Clyburn said. “I’ve made that very clear.”

Caption
Barack Obama endorses Joe Biden for president

Zerlina Maxwell, a political analyst and former director of progressive media for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign, said this is an opportunity for Biden to recognize the political force of black women.

“The Democratic nominee needs to make it completely clear that they understand the moment and that they understand that black women are the foundation of a successful Democratic Party at every level,” Maxwell said.

Adrianne Shropshire, executive director of Black PAC, said black voters are looking for “authenticity.”

Credit: AJC

Caption
Democratic National Convention to be postponed

Credit: AJC

“When folks have talked to us about what they want in a candidate, it is someone who can relate to them,” Shropshire said, noting the coronavirus’ disparate impact on black Americans.

But she said that doesn’t mean a vice presidential nominee has to be a black woman.

“Having a black running mate checks that box for a lot of people, but I would also say in the same way that black voters weren’t simply during the primary contest saying, ‘Who’s the black candidate?’ I don’t think black voters are doing that for the vice presidential choice, either,” she said, later adding the bottom line: “Ultimately, people want to win.”

Credit: AJC

Caption
Joe Biden thinks President Trump may delay 2020 election

Credit: AJC

Tharon Johnson, a prominent black strategist who worked for Barack Obama’s two presidential campaigns, said Biden’s focus should be on “energy,” not necessarily on race.

“I am totally, 100% behind the narrative that it’s time for a black woman on the ticket,” Johnson said. “But he has to consider a lot of metrics. Who can he bring on that will increase enthusiasm and drive turnout in those states that matter most in November? And what characteristics are there that will bring that excitement?”

Biden campaign co-chair Cedric Richmond, a Louisiana congressman and a former Congressional Black Caucus chairman, is a forceful advocate for African Americans within Democratic politics. But he’s also absolute in his assertion that Biden cannot be forced to check a demographic box.

“I’m not sure that the VP is going to throw names out there just to appease people,” Richmond said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.