Pandering to save his hide from the rage of Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), 2020 contender Joe Biden, without making any direct promises to choose a woman as his running mate, said it would be “great” to have a female vice president if he were to secure the nomination

“I think it’d be great to have a female VP,” Biden told CNN’s Chris Cuomo in an interview Friday, according to HuffPost. “And if I don’t win, it’d be great to have a female president.”

Cuomo then asked Biden if a Democratic candidate could win the 2020 election without a woman on the ticket.

“Well, the answer is yes,” Biden responded. “But I think it helps having a woman on the ticket, and there’s a lot of really qualified women out there.”

When Cuomo asked if Biden would select his top rival, Kamala Harris, as his running mate, Biden said he could not answer that question at this time, putting him in a “damned if he does, damned if he doesn’t” situation.

“I don’t even have the nomination,” he said, adding that his rivals could easily accuse him of being entitled if he were to answer in the affirmative.

“Well, Biden’s being arrogant. Biden thinks I’ll have him as my vice president,” he said of his opponents. “I’m not going to comment on any individual.”

Former Vice President Joe Biden is not the only 2020 contender to pander by suggesting a female running mate. As early as February, Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) said he was “looking to women first” as his vice presidential pick if he were to secure the nomination.

“I believe there should be a woman president right now and we’ve worked very hard to get one, but we have such a great field of leaders,” Booker told Rachel Maddow. “I think you will rarely see a Democratic ticket anymore without gender diversity, race diversity. I think it is something we should have. I’m not going to box myself in, but should I become it, you know I’ll be looking to women first.”

Joe Biden’s quasi-pledge to enlist a female as his 2020 running mate comes on the heels of Kamala Harris gaining on his lead in the polls after she mercilessly attacked him at the Democratic Party presidential debate for being insensitive on race relations issues, primarily for praising two white segregationists as examples in political civility. According to a Morning Consult/FiveThirtyEight poll, Biden’s support has dropped ten points since last Thursday — 41.5% to 31.5% — while Kamala Harris has jumped a full nine points — 7.9% to 16.6%.

In the same interview with CNN on Friday, Biden said he was ill-prepared to have Harris attack him the way she did, vowing to do better next time. “I was prepared for them to come after me, but I wasn’t prepared for the person coming at me the way she came at me,” Biden told Cuomo.

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