Former Vice President Joe Biden said Monday he would be willing to name a Republican running mate in his bid for president.
However, the top-tier Democrat added, “I can’t think of one right now.”
Nearing the end of a town hall in Exeter, New Hampshire, a member of the audience remarked that “our 21-year-old son said the other night, ‘I wonder if Joe Biden would consider choosing a Republican as a running mate.’”
“The answer is, I would,” Biden answered before adding that he couldn’t think of one right now, which drew laughter from the crowd inside Exeter’s historic town hall building.
“No, I’m serious. No. Here’s what I mean. Let me finish. You know, there’s some really decent Republicans that are out there still, but here’s the problem right now with the well-known ones: they’ve got to step up,” Biden added, which sparked laughter from the audience.
“I’m not being a wise guy,” he added.
The former vice president noted that it was “presumptuous” to discuss running mates before winning the nomination.
“I’m going to get clobbered by the press. ‘Biden was talking about vice-presidential candidates and he doesn’t have the nomination,’ which is totally legitimate,” he said.
But, Biden – who served eight years as vice president in the Obama administration – did expand on running mates, saying, “Whomever I would pick for vice president, and there’s a lot of qualified women, there’s a lot of qualified African-Americans, there really, truly are. There’s a plus, a plethora of really qualified people.”
Explaining what he’d look for in a running mate, Biden said, “Whomever I would pick, were I fortunate enough to be your nominee, I’d pick someone who was simpatico with me, who knew… what my priorities were and knew what I wanted to do. We could disagree on tactic, but strategically we’d have to be on the exact same page.”
Earlier Monday, Biden sat down in nearby Portsmouth for a meeting with the Seacoast Media Group’s editorial board. The meeting came a day after 2020 top-tier rival Pete Buttigieg called the then-senator from Delaware’s 2002 vote to authorize the Iraq War part of the nation’s “worst foreign policy decision” of the 37-year old South Bend, Ind., mayor’s lifetime.
Buttigieg was responding to a question about how his foreign policy experience measured up some of his rivals – especially Biden, who sat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee when the U.S. went to war in Iraq.
“This is an example of why years in Washington is not always the same thing as judgment,” Buttigieg highlighted.
Given a chance to respond on Monday, Biden said, “God love Pete. I respect the fact of his service and his willingness to go,” as he noted Buttigieg’s service in the War in Afghanistan as an intelligence officer in the U.S. Naval Reserve.
You can read the rest of Paul Steinhauser and Allie Raffa’s article at FoxNews.com