Watch CBS News

John Lewis pushes Joe Biden to pick a woman of color to be his running mate

Civil rights icon and Congressman John Lewis said Tuesday that former Vice President Joe Biden should pick a woman of color to be his running mate. Lewis made the comments as he announced he's formally endorsing Biden, a shot of energy for the likely Democratic presidential nominee as the primary season is currently on pause due to safety concerns related to the coronavirus pandemic. 

"I think Vice President Biden should look around — it would be good to have a woman of color," Lewis told reporters on a call when asked.

"It would be good to have a woman that looks like the rest of America: smart, gifted, a fighter, a warrior," Lewis said, noting a woman of any race would be a good choice, "I think the time has long passed to make the White House look like the whole of America."

At the last primary debate in March, Biden pledged to pick a woman running mate.

Lewis, 80, announced in December he had been diagnosed with Stage Four pancreatic cancer. "I have a few health problems now but I hope they will not be with me forever," Lewis said, He added that he plans to campaign for Biden. "We need his voice and we need his leadership now more than ever before."

Georgia postponed its scheduled March 24 primary until May 19 due to coronavirus. 

Biden's primary wins in 19 states so far are due in large part to his dominant support from black voters. But Biden's support among younger black voters in some states has been challenged by Sanders. Asked what his message is to younger black voters, Lewis said, "get out there and vote like we never, ever voted before."

This is not the first time during this campaign Lewis spoke up on Biden's behalf. In summer 2019, when several Democratic presidential candidates criticized Biden for casually recounting his relationships with segregationist senators, Lewis defended Biden. "I don't think the remarks are offensive," Lewis told reporters

Biden later apologized for the remarks.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.