Biden Hails Klobuchar as Minneapolis Protests End Ex-Prosecutor's VP Hopes

Joe Biden offered words of praise for Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) on Thursday night as she removed herself from consideration to become his running mate in the 2020 election.

Klobuchar announced that she had told Biden on Wednesday that she no longer wished to be considered for vice president. Citing the ongoing discussion in America around racism and police brutality, the Minnesota senator said she believed a woman of color should be "on that ticket."

"This is a historic moment, and America must seize on this moment," Klobuchar told MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell. "And I truly believe as, I actually told the vice president last night when I called him, that I think this is a moment to put a woman of color on that ticket."

"There are so many incredibly qualified women, but if you want to heal this nation right now... this is sure a hell of a way to do it," she said.

Shortly after Klobuchar made her announcement, Biden tweeted out kind words for the Minnesota senator.

"Amy—from the moment you announced you were running for president in a snowstorm, it wasn't hard to see you had the grit and determination to do anything you set your mind to," he said. "You know how to get things done. With your help, we're going to beat Donald Trump."

The development comes after months of Klobuchar being widely seen as a strong choice for Biden's running mate.

In the wake of George Floyd's death, which unfolded in Minneapolis, however, a growing discussion around racial injustice has led to deeper scrutiny of Klobuchar's own criminal justice record, including the seven years she served as a top Minnesota prosecutor.

Klobuchar has faced strong criticism over her failure to adequately address allegations of racism inside the Minneapolis police force, as well as her record of failing to bring charges against officers involved in shootings.

With growing calls for police to be defunded and for the U.S. justice system to be transformed, there appeared to be little faith among Democrats that Klobuchar would be the ideal candidate to help deliver that change.

There has also been a strong push for Biden to pick a woman of color as his running mate, as Klobuchar suggested.

A number of politicians have come to the fore as strong potential running mates, including California Sen. Kamala Harris and Florida Rep. Val Demings, who both have law enforcement backgrounds.

Former National Security Advisor Susan Rice has also been named as a potential running mate for Biden, as well as Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and Stacey Abrams, a former Georgia gubernatorial candidate.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, (D-MA) is also considered a strong contender in the race, while Wisconsin Sen. Tammy Baldwin and Illinois Sen. Tammy Duckworth have also come to the fore as potential candidates.

Biden Klobuchar
Democratic presidential candidates former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) stand together during a break at the Democratic presidential primary debate at the Charleston Gaillard Center on February 25, 2020 in Charleston, South Carolina. Klobuchar has removed herself from consideration to be Biden's running mate. Win McNamee/Getty