For the first time, on Sunday former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams (D) addressed rumors that former Vice President Joe Biden is considering her as a 2020 presidential running mate.
She weighed in on the rumors during a Los Angeles event to promote her new book, saying, “Vice President Biden and I had a lovely lunch. And we talked about food, and we talked about — I mean, look, we talked about the presidency and what it means.”
Though Biden has not formally announced his candidacy, reports circulated this month that his advisers are encouraging him to consider her as a running mate.
Abrams — a former Georgia House minority leader who narrowly lost her bid for governor last year but made history as the first black woman to be a major party’s gubernatorial nominee — downplayed the significance of her chat with Biden.
“We talked about whether I was thinking about running,” she continued on Sunday. “We talked about whether he was thinking about running. But we did not have that conversation, and everything else is pure speculation made up by somebody else.”
Rumors of Biden seeking out Abrams as a running mate have frustrated her supporters, many of whom want her to launch her own campaign for the presidential nomination and not be relegated to a second-tier role.
“It says a lot about her leadership and the passion that she has tapped into across the country,” Kimberly Peeler-Allen, a co-founder of Higher Heights, an organization dedicated to getting black women involved in politics, told HuffPost last week. “It is interesting that before she has even decided what she is doing, he has decided what he wants her to do.”
Abrams, whose profile rose even more after delivering the Democrats’ response to the State of the Union address in February, tweeted this month that a 2020 run was “definitely on the table.”