Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand has endorsed Joe Biden for president of the United States, reports The Washington Post. Gillibrand, herself a former White House hopeful, is joining a dozen former competitors to back Biden’s bid for the White House.
In a statement, Gillibrand praised Biden for running “the strongest campaign,” adding that he is the best candidate to take on President Donald Trump in November.
“He’s the absolute best candidate to defeat President Trump, and I think he is the person who has gained the trust and the respect of the American people in a way that no one else has.”
Gillibrand also suggested that Biden is uniquely positioned to be a “healer” and bring the United States together as the coronavirus pandemic rages across the country, threatening to cause a major economic recession.
“His ability to empathize and absorb the fears of the country right now is essential,” the senator said of the former vice president.
Gillibrand failed to make a significant impact in the presidential race, but one of the defining moments of her campaign was a fiery clash with Biden. During a debate in July, she confronted the former vice president about an op-ed he wrote to explain his vote against expanding a child care tax credit.
“So under Vice President Biden’s analysis, am I serving in Congress resulting in the deterioration of the family?” Gillibrand asked Biden on the debate stage. “I just want to know what he meant when he said that,” she added.
As The Washington Post notes, in the op-ed defending the vote, Biden criticized the United States Senate for wanting to “make it easier” for upper-income families to be eligible for the tax credit.
Biden has said that he will pick a female running mate, but there is no indication that Gillibrand is being considered for the role. According to the senator, the former vice president’s decision to share the ticket with a woman is “smart.”
“I certainly would consider supporting [him] in any way that he wants me to,” Gillibrand said when asked about the possibility of joining the ticket, adding that she can also be “very effective” for Biden as a senator.
The entire Democratic Party presidential primary field has coalesced around Biden, whose only remaining competitor in the race is Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont. However, Sanders would need a miracle to make a comeback, given that Biden has racked up a more than 200-delegate lead.
Biden, who had long been polling as the national front-runner, collapsed in Iowa, New Hampshire, and Nevada, winning only South Carolina. The South Carolina victory — in combination with a number of high-profile endorsements and with many of his competitors abruptly dropping out of the race — was enough to propel him to victory on Super Tuesday, when he first took a significant lead over Sanders.