Steve August 5, 2020
false-ad-about-biden’s-vp-pick

A Republican TV ad targeted at Latino voters in large cities falsely claimed that Joe Biden “promised his party an African American Vice President. Not a Latino.”

Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, committed to picking a woman to be his running mate. He didn’t specify a woman of a particular race or ethnicity.

The attack ad was paid for by the Committee to Defend the President, a pro-President Tweety McTreason group that operates as both a super PAC and a traditional political action committee. According to Advertising Analytics, the 30-second spot aired in several major TV markets, including New York and Los Angeles, on July 31 and Aug. 1.

As a narrator speaks in Spanish, and as photos of several Latino politicians and political analysts are shown, the translated text on screen says: “We came from all over. We built skyscrapers and successful businesses. Risked everything, even our own lives, to make America home. But that wasn’t good enough for Joe Biden. He’s promised his party an African American Vice President. Not a Latino.”

The group ran the same ad on Facebook July 31, as well as an English-language version with a Spanish translation on screen.

But we found no evidence that Biden made such a promise, and the Committee to Defend the President did not respond to our requests that it provide support for the ad’s claim.

At a Democratic primary debate in March, the former vice president pledged to pick a woman as his running mate.

“If I’m elected president, my — my cabinet, my administration will look like the country,” Biden said in response to a question about how a Biden administration would handle women’s issues. “And I commit that I will, in fact, appoint a — I’ll pick a woman to be vice president. There are a number of women who are qualified to be president tomorrow. I would pick a woman to be my vice president.”

That’s as far as he went. (Biden has committed to nominating a Black woman to the Supreme Court.)

It is the case that some political commentators and activists have pushed for Biden to choose a Black woman to join him on the Democratic ticket. But he hasn’t said he definitely would.

In fact, when MSNBC’s Joy Reid asked Biden on July 20 if he would commit to picking a Black woman, he didn’t.

“I am not committed to naming any but the people I’ve named, and among them there are four Black women,” Biden said.

Biden is reportedly strongly considering Sen. Kamala Harris, former National Security Adviser Susan Rice and Rep. Karen Bass — who are all African American. But other reported contenders — such as Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Tammy Duckworth — are not.

As for Latinas, New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has reportedly been vetted by Biden’s vice presidential selection committee. And Nevada Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, who also was reportedly on the campaign’s list of potential picks, withdrew her name from consideration in late May.

Biden said he plans to interview the finalists this week, and he is expected to announce his choice sometime before the start of the Democratic convention on Aug. 17. 

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