Florida Democratic Rep. Val Demings is the latest vice presidential contender to say publicly that she would serve alongside Joe Biden – as a key member of Biden’s team is urging him to select a minority woman.
Demings cited her time as the police chief in Orlando Wednesday, saying would be ‘honored’ to serve alongside Biden, who has pledged he will choose a woman as his running mate.
‘If asked, I would be honored to serve alongside Joe Biden and do everything within my power to get this country back on track – not just here in the nation, but around the world,’ Demings told MSNBC.
She cited her time on the police beat and connected it to the coronavirus crisis.
‘I have dedicated my life to public life to public service. And having served as a social worker, career law enforcement officer, police chief, and now a member of Congress, I chose tough jobs,’ she said.
‘I would be honored to serve alongside Joe Biden,’ said Rep. Val Demings (D-Florida)
‘We’re dealing with a tough time right now. We’re in the middle of a crisis. I’ve dealt with crisis before,’ she continued. She said the country faced an ‘absolute lack of leadership.’ She was the first woman to lead the force in Orlando.
She also tried her hand at firing at Biden’s rival, which traditionally is a key part of the role of a running mate.
‘You know, at the very least we ought to be able to have a leader that we can trust. We ought to be able to have a leader that when they’re taking the podium and giving direction, that we can believe that what is coming out of their mouths is true. We don’t have that right now,’ Demings told the network.
Demings serves as a member of the House Intelligence Committee and was a manager during Trump’s impeachment trial in the Senate – a process that infuriated Trump. She called the impeachment a ‘defining moment’ in the nation’s history during the House impeachment inquiry, weaving her own biography into her opening statement.
Demings spoke to MSNBC from her home
In a pool photo provided by the Michigan Office of the Governor, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer addresses the state during a speech in Lansing, Mich., Friday, May 1, 2020
Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., speaks at a campaign rally for presumptive Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) might be a way for Biden to appeal to left-wing supporters of former rival Sen. Bernie Sanders
She told ABC’s ‘The View’ during the January trial: ‘I believe the president’s team – and the president of course – is trying to turn this very serious trial into a circus. We’re going to do everything we can not to let them do this.’
In overtly expressing her desire for the job, Demings is following in the footsteps of former Georgia candidate for governor Stacey Abrams.
‘Yes, I would be willing to serve,’ Abrams told ABC last month.
Both women have appeared regularly on lists of possible prospects. Others include Sen. Kamala Harris of California, Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, and Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar.
Biden leads Donald Trump by 50 to 41 in a new Monmouth University poll, and by 46 to 42 in a new Economist / YouGov poll.
Although he has pledged to name a female candidate, he is also being urged to choose a minority running mate – which could help him try to recapture the winning Obama coalition, while also acknowledging the key role black voters played in his primary win.
House Minority Whip Jim Clyburn, who helped swing South Carolina to Biden and a senior member of the Congressional Black Caucus, said he ‘clearly’ prefers Biden choose a black woman, the AP reported. But he said he isn’t pushing Biden that way.
‘I´m the father of three grown African American women. So naturally I prefer an African American woman, but it doesn’t have to be,’ Clyburn said. ‘I’ve made that very clear.’
Biden has led Trump in a series of Florida polls, although Trump carried the state over Hillary Clinton in 2016.