At Sunday’s Democratic debate on CNN, Joseph R. Biden Jr. said for the first time that he would choose a woman to be his running mate.
“I commit that I will, in fact, appoint a woman to be vice president,” Mr. Biden said. “There are a number of women qualified to be president tomorrow.”
Mr. Biden made his commitment in response to a videotaped question from a voter posed first to Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont about how he would ensure his cabinet would be equipped to offer the best possible advice about women’s physical and financial health.
A transcript of their initial exchange is below. Shortly after this exchange, Mr. Sanders was pressed on whether he, too, would commit to selecting a woman as his running made. “In all likelihood, I will,” he said.
BERNIE SANDERS: My cabinet, my administration, will look like America. Last I heard, over half of the people in America are women. And that will be the representation in my cabinet and my administration. And in terms of policies, unlike Joe, I have consistently believed — and have a 100 percent lifetime voting record from groups like NARAL — that it is a woman’s right to control her own body, not the government. I have believed that we have got to move aggressively to deal with domestic violence in this country.
I have aggressively, and I think effectively, made the case that we cannot have women in America earning 80 cents on the dollar compared to men, and if you’re a minority woman it’s 50 or 60 on cents on the dollar. We need to have universal affordable high quality child care so women who are single or married can go off to work and know that their kids are going to be well taken care of. So I think if you look at my agenda, which is on berniesanders dot com, what you will find, it is a very strong agenda in fighting for the rights of women who today are under incredible political assault by Trump and are Republican governors all across this country.
DANA BASH: Vice President Biden?
JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR.: Number one, I agree with the question and the underlying premise of Amy’s question. Number one, I committed that if I’m elected president and have an opportunity to appoint someone to the courts, I’ll appoint the first black woman of the courts. It’s required that they have representation now. It’s long overdue.
Secondly, if I’m elected president, my cabinet, my administration will look like the country and I commit that I will, in fact, appoint a — I’d pick a woman to be vice president. There are a number of women who are qualified to be president tomorrow. I would pick a woman to be my vice president is. Number three, I’m the guy that wrote the domestic violence law. I’m the guy that put in the prohibitions that no one who abuses someone else should be able to own a gun. Period. They should not be able to own a gun.