Stacey Abrams nixes Biden-Abrams ticket trial balloon: 'You don't run for second place'

An idea floated by advisers of Joe Biden to designate Stacey Abrams of Georgia as his running mate before the primaries was dismissed Wednesday by Abrams herself.

According to multiple reports last week, the former vice president, who would be 78 on Election Day, might try to win over a younger and more diverse group of voters by forming a ticket with Abrams, who is 45, an African-American woman and former Democratic leader in the Georgia Legislature who won national attention in her spirited race for governor last year. According to Axios, Biden’s advisers were “debating the idea of packaging his presidential campaign announcement with a pledge to choose Stacey Abrams as his vice president.”

Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams in Atlanta on election night, Nov. 7, 2018. (Alyssa Pointer/Atlanta Journal-Constitution/TNS via Zuma Wire)
Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams in Atlanta on election night, Nov. 7, 2018. (Alyssa Pointer/Atlanta Journal-Constitution/TNS via Zuma Wire)

Abrams said she wasn’t interested in such a deal on Wednesday’s episode of “The View.”

“I think you don’t run for second place,” said Abrams when asked about the idea. “If I’m going to enter a primary, then I’m going to enter a primary. If I don’t enter a primary, my job is to make certain the best Democrat becomes the nominee and, whoever wins the primary, that we make certain that person gets elected in 2020.”

When asked if she would consider topping an Abrams-Biden ticket, Abrams said she was “open to all number of options right now.” She also said she wouldn’t be opposed to serving on the ticket as vice president once a nominee was set.

“Running in a primary to be vice president is very different from someone who’s been selected by the party to be the nominee asking you to serve as a partner, and I’m open to all options,” she said.

Abrams’s star has risen since her close loss in the high-profile gubernatorial race in Georgia, in a campaign marred by accusations of voter suppression. Her opponent, Republican Secretary of State Brian Kemp, purged voter rolls before the election, which was overseen by his own office. Abrams received positive reviews for her response to Trump’s State of the Union address last month and has been floated as either a potential candidate to run against Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., in next year’s election or as another entrant in the 2020 Democratic primary. Abrams told the hosts of “The View” she was still undecided on her immediate future.

“I do not know if I’m running,” she said. “I’m thinking about everything. Part of my opportunity right now is that I have a number of options I didn’t know about before, and it’s the Senate race, it’s possibly running for president, and my responsibility is to take seriously the opportunity, to give credibility to those who are asking me but to make sure I’m the right person, it’s the right time and it’s the right job.”

The New York Times reported last week that the Biden campaign was also considering Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., and former Rep. Beto O’Rourke, D-Texas, if their campaigns were to falter in the coming weeks. Aides to Biden told the Times that the former vice president found Abrams to be “incredibly impressive” after a lunch with her. Despite having yet to announce his campaign, Biden’s high name recognition has helped him lead in nearly every early poll of the Democratic primary.

Abrams has met with Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., about potentially running for Perdue’s seat in next year’s election. She is also continuing her efforts to register voters in Georgia in addition to launching a nonprofit last week with a focus on ensuring a fair count in the 2020 census.

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