Joe Biden Declines To Rule Out Appointing Donors As Ambassadors

Democratic presidential candidate, former Vice President Joe Biden speaks during a campaign stop in Iowa.
Scott Olson / Getty Images

Democratic White House hopeful and former Vice President Joe Biden is open to appointing political donors to ambassadorships if he wins the 2020 presidential election.

According to a new report from The Baltimore Sun, during a campaign event in Iowa, Biden declined to rule out appointing big money donors as ambassadors, noting, however, that campaign contributions would not influence his decisions.

“I’m going to appoint the best people possible. Nobody, in fact, will be appointed by me based on anything they contributed,” he said.

But, the presidential candidate added, “you have some of the people out there… that are fully qualified to head up everything from being the ambassador to NATO to be ambassador to France… who may or may not have contributed.”

Biden reasserted that campaign contributions “would not be any basis” for his decision.

Other candidates have vowed to end the longstanding practice. Notably, Independent Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and Massachusetts Democrat Elizabeth Warren have both relied on grassroots donations, eschewing high-dollar fundraisers candidates such as Biden and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg have attended throughout the primary race.

According to Biden, their shunning of big money donors does not mean much, given that both Warren and Sanders have transferred millions of dollars from their Senate accounts to their presidential bids. However, even though Warren built her Senate war chest using large individual contributions, Sanders has not, relying on grassroots donations like through his whole career.

Unlike Sanders, Warren has also made it clear that she would attend general election fundraisers for the Democratic National Committee (DNC) if she wins the nomination. Some of that money would be used to finance her hypothetical general election campaign against President Donald Trump.

Although Biden accepts big money donations, he has opened his fundraisers to the press. Earlier this week, Warren pointed out that Buttigieg has refused to do so, which prompted criticism. Buttigieg has also been criticized for failing to appeal to black voters, which appears to be his biggest weakness.

That is not the case with Biden, who enjoys more support from the African American community than any other candidate in the race.

“I think anybody has the possibility of broadening their coalition,” Biden said of Buttigieg’s chances to appeal to black voters.

“I have more support from the black community than anybody at all running, combined, everybody, because that’s where I come from. My political base has been there,” he added.

According to experts, Biden’s support in the African American community could melt away by the time South Carolinian cast their ballots, especially if he underperforms in the early states of Iowa and New Hampshire.