Former Vice President Joe Biden said Monday that he'd consider picking a Republican as a potential running mate in 2020, but that he "can't think of one right now."
The question for Biden, one of the leading Democratic candidates for president in 2020, came during a town hall in Exeter, New Hampshire. The woman asked the former Vice President if he believed the best way to unite the country would be to pick a Republican for vice president.
"Our 21-year-old son said the other night, 'I wonder if Joe Biden would consider choosing a Republican as a running mate," the woman asked.
"The answer is I would, but I can't think of one now,” he said, to chuckles around the room. "There is some really decent Republicans that are out there still, but here's the problem right now, of the well-known ones, they've got to step up."
The idea drew swift backlash from progressives on Twitter, with the hashtag #RepublicanVP trending Monday afternoon.
Biden said whomever he chose for the position, they'd need to work well together.
"Whomever I would pick were I fortunate enough to be your nominee, I'd pick somebody who was simpatico with me, who knew what I, what my priorities were and knew what I wanted to," he said. "We could disagree on tactic, but strategically we'd have to be in the exact same page."
The idea is not without precedent - during the late Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign in 2008, he teased the idea of choosing former Sen. Joe Lieberman, a Democrat-turned-Independent, as a potential running mate, before ultimately choosing former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. The nation's 16th President, President Abraham Lincoln, dropped his running mate during his election and choose Democrat Andrew Johnson.
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