In his first interview as the Democratic presidential nominee, former Vice President Joe Biden discussed his motives for choosing a woman of color as his running mate.
“Did you feel pressure to select a Black woman?” asked "Good Morning America" co-anchor Robin Roberts in an exclusive interview Friday in Wilmington, Delaware.
“No, I didn't feel pressure to select a Black woman,” Biden said. He later added, “the government should look like the people, look like the country. Fifty-one percent of the people in this country are women. As that old expression goes, ‘women hold up half the sky,’ and in order to be able to succeed, you've got to be dealt in across the board.”
Biden shared his thought process in an interview with Roberts conducted alongside Sen. Kamala Harris, Biden's running mate and the first Black woman and first South Asian woman on a major party's presidential ticket.
Biden said that although the two come from different backgrounds with vastly different experiences, the pair are aligned on principles.
“I cannot understand and fully appreciate what it means to walk in her shoes, to be an African-American woman, with Indian-American background, a child of immigrants,” he said. “She can’t assume exactly what it's like to walk in my shoes. What we do know is we have the same value set.”
Biden said that in the course of the selection process, Harris “fit the closest and the best,” in comparison to other women under consideration.
He described his admiration for Harris’ handling of mortgage settlement negotiations with big banks as California’s attorney general. In 2012, the deal garnered a $25 billion settlement for California homeowners impacted by the foreclosure crisis. It was also during those negotiations that Harris forged a close relationship with Biden’s late son Beau Biden, then-attorney general of Delaware.
“She's an incredible woman. ... On the Judiciary Committee, which I used to chair for years, I watched her just insist on getting the answers, and not relented until she got the answers,” he said. “And so I just -- it just seemed to fit.”
Watch “The Ticket: The First Interview,” a special edition of “20/20,” airing Sunday, Aug. 23 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC, in which “World News Tonight” anchor David Muir and “Good Morning America” co-anchor Robin Roberts conduct the first joint interviews with Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and his running mate Sen. Kamala Harris.