In an interview with The Dallas Morning News published on Thursday, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden identified two men he could name as his pick for vice president if he wins his party’s nomination.
According to Biden, former White House hopefuls Beto O’Rourke and Julián Castro are on his shortlist for running mate and cabinet positions.
“I would consider either or both of them. I’ve spoken to each of them,” the former vice president said of the former El Paso representative and the former San Antonio mayor.
“My plea to both of them is that they stay engaged. They are talented, talented people.”
O’Rourke, who came close to pulling off an unlikely victory over Texas Sen. Ted Cruz in 2018, has not endorsed anyone since dropping out of the race, but Castro has. The former Obama administration official, who centered much of his platform on immigration issues, endorsed Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.
Biden suggested that O’Rourke and Castro could help the Democratic Party win in Texas. The Lone Star State, according to the former vice president, can be turned blue.
Promising that he would spend resources on winning Texas if he becomes the nominee, Biden argued that Democrats need to not only beat President Donald Trump but also win back the Senate from the GOP.
“I know one thing. It’s not going to be enough to beat Trump. You’ve got to win back the Senate. You got to go in and campaign in states that are in fact doable, gettable, even if I can’t win in that state.”
“Depending on the nominee…I think Texas is gettable,” he added.
According to polling data gathered by RealClearPolitics, both Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont would possibly be able to turn Texas blue in 2020, though Trump remains a clear favorite in the traditionally red state.
Biden entered the Democratic primary race as the perceived front-runner, and although he has held onto his lead in national surveys, polling in key early states paints a slightly different picture. Sanders appears to be the former vice president’s main competitor, having surged in states such as Iowa and New Hampshire.
In recent weeks, the Sanders campaign has gone after Biden’s record on issues such as foreign policy, trade, and welfare. The Vermont independent has made an effort to contrast his own record with his rival’s, blasting him for supporting the war in Iraq and questioning his electability.
According to Sanders, a Biden nomination would not create the “energy” necessary to defeat Trump.