Klobuchar withdraws from VP consideration, says Biden should pick a woman of color

Sen. Amy Klobuchar endorses former Vice President Joe Biden.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., endorses Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden at a campaign rally in March in Dallas. Klobuchar said Thursday that Biden should choose a woman of color as a running mate.
Eric Gay | AP

Updated: June 19, 6 a.m. | Posted: June 18, 9:57 p.m.

Minnesota U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar pulled out of consideration Thursday to be Joe Biden’s vice presidential running mate. 

Klobuchar went on MSNBC to say it would be better if Biden picked a woman of color to be on his Democratic ticket. Klobuchar is among several people who were being vetted for the position.

“I think this is a moment to put a woman of color on that ticket," Klobuchar said on MSNBC. “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 praised Klobuchar in a tweet Thursday, citing her “grit and determination” and saying, "With your help, we’re going to beat Donald Trump.

Klobuchar said it was time to focus on helping the nation heal from the George Floyd killing in Minneapolis.

“This is a historic moment and America must seize on this moment,” she said.

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Klobuchar ran her own race for president this year but dropped out and endorsed Biden in March. She was viewed skeptically among voters who questioned her commitment to racial justice during her time as a criminal prosecutor.

The third-term senator had to cancel one of the final rallies of her campaign after Black Lives Matter and other activists took the stage in Minnesota to protest her handling of a murder case when she was prosecutor that sent a black teen to prison for life.

Rep. James Clyburn of South Carolina, a close Biden ally and Congress’ highest-ranking black lawmaker, said in the days after Floyd’s death that he believed it made Klobuchar a less likely pick for vice president, though he said she is “absolutely” qualified for the job.

“This is very tough timing for her,” Clyburn said.

Even before Floyd’s death, activists were pushing Biden to consider a woman of color, saying it would help build a multiracial coalition behind the Democratic ticket and motivate people — particularly younger voters — who may be underwhelmed by the 77-year-old former vice president’s bid. The founder of She the People, a network of women of color, called news that Biden had asked Klobuchar to undergo formal vetting “a dangerous and reckless choice.”

“To choose Klobuchar as vice president risks losing the very base the Democrats need to win, most centrally women of color, and could be a fatal blow to the Democrats’ chance to win the White House,” Aimee Allison said in May.

Biden is expected to pick a running mate before the party’s convention in August in Milwaukee.

Democrats with knowledge of the process told The Associated Press last week that Biden’s search committee had narrowed the choices to as few as six serious contenders after initial interviews. Among the group still in contention: Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Sen. Kamala Harris and Susan Rice, who served as President Barack Obama’s national security adviser. Warren is white; both Harris and Rice are black.