During an interview with CNN journalist Christiane Amanpour, Stacey Abrams, the Democratic former Georgia House minority leader, pushed back against the idea that she has been “pitching” herself as a potential running mate for former Vice President Joe Biden.
“First of all, the decision of who is vice president will be, is solely the decision of Vice President Biden,” said Abrams. “I want to push back. I haven’t been pitching myself, which has been a mischaracterization, I think, because I answer questions honestly.”
“I’ve been getting this question for 14 months,” said Abrams, who noted that she was “honored” that “people” think it’s important to ask about her potential ambitions and readiness for higher office.
“My responsibility is not to question what journalists think is a valid question, but to answer for the audiences they’re speaking to,” said Abrams. “It is my responsibility to answer honestly and forthrightly.”
“I’m not simply speaking for myself. I’m also speaking to that young woman of color who is thinking about what’s in her future,” she said. “And if I deny her, and deny myself, then I’m doing a disservice to women, to communities of color, and to any disadvantaged community that does not see themselves as the face of leadership.”
In late April, Politico reported that Abrams had been making phone calls to Democrats in an effort to get the Biden campaign to put her on the ticket, “according to multiple labor leaders familiar with the discussions.”
Over the last month, Abrams has also repeatedly engaged in interviews with reporters and media figures, during which the subject of a spot on the Democratic ticket as vice president has come up.
After Elle Magazine profiled Abrams in a piece titled “Stacey Abrams On Voting Rights, COVID-19, And Being Vice President” – which included a prominently placed quote from Abrams saying “I would be an excellent running mate” – the failed gubernatorial candidate was fawned over during an episode of “The View.”
“You say you would be an excellent running mate,” co-host Joy Behar told Abrams in April. “It’s refreshing to hear such confidence. I love it! ‘I would be great at the job and I want it,’ you said. So tell us why you would be an excellent running mate, even though it’s pretty obvious to me.”
Abrams responded: “I try to be straightforward because while we hope the work speaks for itself, sometimes the work needs a hype-man.”
During an interview on the Tangazo! Podcast, Democratic Congressman William Lacy Clay Jr. (D-MO) said that Abrams’ habit of “marketing” herself for the vice president slot was “somewhat offensive to me.”
“You know, at the race tracks, you cannot show up at the winner’s window with loser’s tickets. You haven’t won anything,” said the congressman. “Let’s be for real, that’s not how politics works.”
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