- The Washington Times - Sunday, February 9, 2020

HUDSON, N.H. — Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden on Sunday suggested it would be problematic for him to tap 2020 rival Sen. Bernard Sanders as a running mate.

Mr. Biden, 77, said he wants to pick someone who’s younger than he is and someone who is ready on day one to be president.

He also said “there has to be some correlation between their views and mine.”

“For example, if I pick someone who had a view that they insisted that we do ‘Medicare for All,’ which costs over $35 trillion, and has no chance of becoming law and would not support my plan … that’d be a real problem,” he said. “How do you do those kinds of things?”

Mr. Sanders, the leading proponent of Medicare for All among the 2020 Democrats, is 78 years old.

Mr. Biden was responding to a suggestion from a questioner at a campaign event here that he pick one of his top-polling Democratic rivals to form a dream team to take down President Trump if he ends up winning the nomination.

“But there are at least four people running that, in fact, are simpatico with where I am, starting with Indiana and starting with other places,” Mr. Biden said.

“Don’t read that as ‘Biden thinks…’” he said, before catching himself and saying: “I’m getting in trouble here.”

He also added that there are a number of qualified people who have already dropped out of the race.

Trying to anticipate the media reaction to his discussing a potential ticket-mate, Mr. Biden repeatedly stressed that he didn’t want to be presumptuous in discussing a VP pick.

Earlier at the event, he said his administration will “look like the country.”

“[It will] be made up of women, and blacks, and browns, and people that represent the diversity of the country just like our administration did,” he said.

“And there are at least six women I can think of off the top of my head who I wouldn’t have a moment’s hesitation in asking to be my vice president…I can say the same thing for at least four leading African-Americans that I know,” he continued.

A few of Mr. Biden’s supporters agreed with his reasoning and said he was only being practical.

“He knows that his chances of dying could be — it could happen, you know?” said Beverley Viglione of East Kingston. “All of us. I’m 80.”

“I’m 82 — I know my limitations,” her husband Ray added.

Mr. Biden is looking to turn things around after his fourth-place finish in Iowa now puts his campaign on the verge of bottoming out without a better performance in the New Hampshire primary on Tuesday.

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