Joe Biden Will Start Vetting Running Mates Within Weeks, Has Spoken to Obama About His Pick: Reports

Joe Biden said he spoke to former President Barack Obama about potential running mates and would begin vetting candidates within weeks, according to reports.

The former vice president told donors on a Sunday call that he would be looking at a group "in excess of six or seven people" before deciding who will be on his ticket, Politico reported.

He also said that he wanted to avoid "any snafu" resulting from his choice of running mate, adding that background checks would "have to be prepared" by his campaign within "a matter of weeks."

"I think there are plenty of women who are ready, been tested out there who are capable of answering all those questions," Biden reportedly told donors. "I have to start that vetting process relatively soon, meaning in a matter of weeks."

Barack Obama and Joe Biden
Barack Obama and Joe Biden as the U.S. Senior Men's National Team and Brazil play during an exhibition basketball game at the Verizon Center on July 16, 2012. Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Reuters reported that Obama's vice president spoke with the former commander-in-chief about the importance of his running mate being someone who could take over should anything happen to him.

"I've actually talked to Barack about this - the most important thing is that it has to be someone who, the day after they're picked, is prepared to be president of the United States of America if something happened," he reportedly said.

While he did not name any candidates being considered by his campaign, Biden stressed the importance of his running mate being someone who was "comfortable" with his policy positions, particularly on healthcare and education.

Newsweek has contacted the Biden 2020 campaign for further comment and will update this article with any response.

The former vice president promised that he would pick a woman to be his running mate during a CNN debate earlier this month.

"I commit that I'd pick a woman as vice president," Biden said. "There are a number of women who are qualified to be president tomorrow. I would pick a woman to be vice president."

Pundits and strategists have pitched a lot of potential running mates for Biden as the gap between the ex-vice president and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has grown over recent weeks.

Speaking to Newsweek earlier this month, Democratic strategists said that Biden should have a woman of color on his ticket, and suggested Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) or Florida Rep. Val Demings could fit bill.

Politico reported that one donor on Biden's Sunday call pitched former U.S. Attorney General Sally Yates as a possible running mate. Biden reportedly replied: "She's really incredible. Sally's an incredible person."

The former vice president has the best odds of winning the Democratic Party's 2020 nomination, with FiveThirtyEight's forecast giving him a 98 percent chance of winning more than half of pledged delegates.

At the time of writing, Biden has won 1,201 pledged delegates of the 1,991 needed to pick up the nomination, while his progressive challenger Sanders has won the backing of just 896 delegates.

Joe Biden Will Start Vetting Running Mates Within Weeks, Has Spoken to Obama About His Pick: Reports | U.S.