Former Vice President Joe Biden, who is now the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, said Sunday that the Democrats might need to hold a virtual convention this summer due to the coronavirus.
Biden was a guest on ABC’s “This Week.” Host George Stephanopoulos asked Biden if, amid the restrictions currently in place, a Democratic National Convention was possible.
“Well, we’re going to have to do a convention, we may have to do a virtual convention,” Biden said.
The whole interview is below. Biden discusses the convention about the 8:10 mark.
” I know — I think we should be thinking about that right now. The idea of holding a convention is going to be necessary, but we may not be able to put 10-20-30,000 people in one place and that’s very possible. Again, let’s see where it is,” he said.
Trump on Saturday was asked about any contingency plan for holding the Republican National Convention.
“We have no contingency plan,” Trump said, according to a White House transcript of Saturday’s coronavirus task force briefing.
“We’re having the convention at the end of August, and we think by the end of August, we’ll be in good shape. We have no contingen … you know, it’s going to be in North Carolina, as you know, in Charlotte. And I think we’re going to have a great convention,” Trump said.
Is it time to do away with party conventions?
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During Sunday’s interview, Biden raised the issue of voting by mail for the fall’s presidential election.
“But I think it’s time we start thinking about how we’re going to hold elections, whether we’re going to have to spend a lot of time figuring whether we do — is it going to mostly be by mail, which is not the preferred route for everyone — how are we going to do that? How are we going to make it available to everybody?” he said.
Trump has said he opposes voting by mail.
Biden also described a recent conversation with Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who has not yet formally given up his bid to be the Democratic presidential nominee, on the subject of Biden’s eventual vice presidential pick.
“I was apologizing to him by saying, Bernie, I don’t want to in any way and not in any way to demean your effort, but if we don’t start now, we’re not going to be able to get there. And he was very gracious, he said he understood,” Biden told Stephanopoulos.
“It wasn’t about asking him for recommendations of who he or I would pick were we the nominee for vice president. It was about saying to him, Bernie, I feel somewhat foolish since although it’s likely — I’m the overwhelming likelihood to get the nomination that, in fact, it’s not officially done yet and I’m moving forward with a committee for vice presidential selection and to be able to set up a circumstance where the background checks can be done.
“As you know, they take a lot of time, and if they don’t start now or shortly in the month of April, it’s going to be hard to get it done,” Biden said.
Biden has indicated that Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is among those being considered.
Georgia Democrat Stacey Abrams, who lost a hard-fought race to Republican Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp in 2018 in a contest marked by allegations of racism and voter suppression, has said that she wants to be considered for vice president.
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