Former vice president Joe Biden will campaign in Texas, where he said he’s considering two of the nation’s most prominent Latino politicians to become his vice presidential running mate.
Biden told The Dallas Morning News in a video interview that he plans a strong campaign for the Lone Star State in 2020 because “it’s not enough to beat Trump, we’ve got to win back the Senate.”
It’s also home to two Latinos who could join him on the Democratic ticket to take on Trump in the general election, he said.
“As you know, I got in trouble for saying that, uh, in South Carolina, that I plan on campaigning in the South,” Biden said. “The folks in the Democratic Party said ‘What are you talking about?’
“I know one thing: It’s not going to be enough to beat Trump, we’ve got to win back the Senate,” he insisted. “We’ve got to go in and campaign in states that are, in fact, doable or getable, even if I can’t win in that state, if it can help the nominee win, whether it’s Texas, or Georgia, or North Carolina, or Arizona, or Michigan. They’re the places I’m going to be because it’s not enough just to win, we have to win back the Senate.”
TDMN posed the question: “If you are the Democratic nominee, would you consider Beto O’Rourke or Julian Castro as a running mate?”
“Yes, I would. I’d consider either or both of them,” Biden said. “Look, I’ve spoken to each of them and spent some time talking to them. My plea to both of them is that they stay engaged. They are talented, talented people and there are a number of Latinos that are have endorsed, our former Secretary of Interior, a whole lot of people who are, I’m going to be, can guarantee there is going to be Latinos in my cabinet.
“I can guarantee you there is going to be Latinos in my White House, and both of them are qualified,” Biden said.
Unlike Castro or former Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar, O’Rourke is not Hispanic.
Despite his prominent use of a popular Hispanic nickname on the campaign trail, Francis O’Rourke is a wealthy white man from a privileged upbringing.
Ironically, O’Rourke’s brief stint as the U.S. representative for Texas’ 16th congressional district came in 2012 when he defeated an actual Hispanic, Silvestre Reyes. Reyes is a decorated Vietnam War veteran and former U.S. Border Patrol agent credited with creating strategies that effectively deter illegal immigration.
The 16th congressional district is overwhelmingly Hispanic, and Reyes’ leadership ensured his constituents were represented in the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, an influential group on Capitol Hill.
They lost that clout when O’Rourke went to Washington.
O’Rourke won the 2012 election with 50.5 percent of the vote, or just a few hundred votes over the threshold required to avoid a runoff. His victory came by advocating LGBTQ rights, drug legalization, and an end to the Merida Initiative – U.S. funding to Mexico to help fight organized crime Reyes strongly supported.
O’Rourke, then 39, explained his Hispanic nickname to Fronteras during the 2012 campaign.
“My parents started calling me ‘Beto’ from the beginning,” he said. “I think it’s a function of my families both being from El Paso. So even though ethnically I’m Anglo, culturally I’m an El Pasoan.”
Regardless, as Biden mulls over the Hispanics he plans to install as president, some of those same folks are out campaigning for other candidates.
Castro, for one, endorsed Elizabeth Warren for president and spent this week in Iowa stumping for the socialist senator, KNIA reports.