Joe Biden’s friends and advisers are floating the idea of tapping Beto O’Rourke as a potential running mate in the 2020 presidential election. The former Vice President hasn’t announced official plans to run, but if he does, his team has suggested the Texas Democrat as a way to capture the younger voices in the party, reports the Associated Press.
Joe Biden, 76, is concerned that he may be considered too old to run for president in a party that is hungering for a younger point of view. At his age, he would be the oldest person ever elected president, three years older than when Reagan was re-elected. To help alleviate the concerns, Biden’s team has suggested that the former Vice President tap the 46-year-old Texas representative as his running mate because he has fired up the progressive, and often younger, wing of the party.
Biden has pointed to his age and experience as evidence that he is ready for the role of president, calling himself the “most qualified person in the country to be president.”
“The issues we face as a country today are the issues that have been in my wheelhouse, that I’ve worked on my whole life,” he said.
But critics within the party worry that you can’t excite younger voters with candidates who have been around a long time.
“Can you mobilize younger voters with older candidates? Bernie showed us that you can, but can you effectively mobilize a winning coalition with an older candidate? That is our conundrum, and I would suggest you probably can’t,” said Dale Todd, an Iowa Democratic activist.
“We want freshness coupled with experience; we also want energy and passion in our candidates.”
O’Rourke ran against incumbent Ted Cruz in the 2018 mid-term elections and while he lost the race, his bid raised a great deal of attention and hype, along with a stunning $80 million in donations. For his part, O’Rourke hasn’t said whether he wants to make a run at the presidential office, but speculation has been rampant that he may be interested. At a town hall meeting in Austin, Texas, O’Rourke left the door open.
“No decision, no decision on that,” he said about 2020.
Since the mid-term election, O’Rourke has been actively criticizing and mobilizing against some of President Donald Trump’s more notable policies, including those on health care and immigration. He recently spent time at the migrant facility in Tornillo, Texas, where thousands of immigrants are being held, and in Juarez, where asylum seekers await the chance to petition for asylum in the U.S.