Biden to start considering running mates, consulted Obama

March 22 (Reuters) - Democratic presidential front-runner Joe Biden said on Sunday he needed to start vetting possible running mates "in a matter of weeks" and that he discussed the pick with former President Barack Obama.

Biden's vice presidential options will include at least six or seven women who will be subjected to background checks to ensure there will not "be any snafu," he told donors at a fundraising event held by telephone.

"I have to start that vetting process relatively soon, meaning in a matter of weeks," he said. "I think there will be a group that is in excess of six or seven people who I'll look at."

Biden said at a Democratic debate last week that he would pick a woman for the job, a qualification he reiterated on Sunday.

Biden also emphasized that the woman would have to agree with his fundamental view on policies, including healthcare, education and the need for expansive U.S. influence in the world. He said he shared that kind of common ground with Obama - whom he served as vice president - although they sometimes differed on tactics.

Above all, the person would need to be qualified to serve as president immediately.

"I've actually talked to Barack about this - the most important thing is that it has to be someone who, the day after they're picked, is prepared to be president of the United States of America if something happened," said Biden, 77.

Biden holds a strong lead over Senator Bernie Sanders, his lone remaining rival for the party's nomination to face Republican President Donald Trump in November's election.

Sidelined from campaigning in public because of the coronavirus crisis that has put nearly one in three Americans under orders to stay at home, Biden said he would start broadcasting on Monday morning from his home in Delaware. Those briefings will give Biden a way to offer an alternative to the daily news conferences on the coronavirus held by Trump, whose disaster response Biden has criticized.

RELATED: Biden and Sanders at the CNN debate

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The Biden-Sanders Democratic debate
Former Vice President Joe Biden, left, and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., right, greet one another before they participate in a Democratic presidential primary debate at CNN Studios in Washington, Sunday, March 15, 2020. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Former Vice President Joe Biden, center, stops to talk with CNN anchor Dana Bash, left, as Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., right, waves after they participated in a Democratic presidential primary debate at CNN Studios in Washington, Sunday, March 15, 2020. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Former Vice President Joe Biden, left, and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., right, participate in a Democratic presidential primary debate at CNN Studios in Washington, Sunday, March 15, 2020. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., right, is escorted off stage during a commercial break at the Democratic presidential primary debate with former Vice President Joe Biden, left, at CNN Studios in Washington, Sunday, March 15, 2020. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Former Vice President Joe Biden, left, and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., right, participate in a Democratic presidential primary debate at CNN Studios in Washington, Sunday, March 15, 2020. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Former Vice President Joe Biden, center, and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., far right, participate in a Democratic presidential primary debate at CNN Studios in Washington, Sunday, March 15, 2020. Looking on are from far left, Ilia Calderon, from Univision, Jake Tapper and Dana Bash, both from CNN. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., has his microphone adjusted as he participates in a Democratic presidential primary debate at CNN Studios, Sunday, March 15, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., right, and former Vice President Joe Biden, left, return to the stage after a commercial break in a Democratic presidential primary debate at CNN Studios, Sunday, March 15, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Former Vice President Joe Biden, participates in a Democratic presidential primary debate at CNN Studios in Washington, Sunday, March 15, 2020. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., participates in a Democratic presidential primary debate at CNN Studios in Washington, Sunday, March 15, 2020. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., right, walks to the back of the stage during a commercial break as he participates in a Democratic presidential primary debate with former Vice President Joe Biden, left, at CNN Studios, Sunday, March 15, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Former Vice President Joe Biden, left, and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., right, waitt on stage to participate in a Democratic presidential primary debate at CNN Studios in Washington, Sunday, March 15, 2020. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Former Vice President Joe Biden, left, extends his elbow to greet Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., right, as they participate in a Democratic presidential primary debate at CNN Studios in Washington, Sunday, March 15, 2020. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 15: Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks about the coronavirus crisis on a live broadcast, in a nearly empty restaurant/bar during the 11th Democratic Party 2020 presidential debate on March 15, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. The debate featured Biden and Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) in a CNN television studio without an audience in the wake of the spread of COVID-19. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
Democratic presidential hopeful former US vice president Joe Biden talks with moderators (L-R) Univision's journalist Ilia Calderon, CNN chief Washington correspondent Jake Tapper and CNN political correspondent Dana Bash at the end of the 11th Democratic Party 2020 presidential debate in a CNN Washington Bureau studio in Washington, DC on March 15, 2020. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP) (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)
Democratic presidential hopeful former US vice president Joe Biden is seen on stage as he and Senator Bernie Sanders take part in the 11th Democratic Party 2020 presidential debate in a CNN Washington Bureau studio in Washington, DC on March 15, 2020. (Photo by Mandel NGAN / AFP) (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)
Democratic presidential hopeful Senator Bernie Sanders makes a point as he and former US vice president Joe Biden take part in the 11th Democratic Party 2020 presidential debate in a CNN Washington Bureau studio in Washington, DC on March 15, 2020. (Photo by Mandel NGAN / AFP) (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 15: Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden (L) and Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) speak about the coronavirus crisis on a live broadcast, in a nearly empty restaurant/bar during the 11th Democratic Party 2020 presidential debate on March 15, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. The debate was held in a CNN television studio without an audience for safety reasons in the wake of the spread of COVID-19. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
Democratic presidential hopeful Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders participates in the 11th Democratic Party 2020 presidential debate in a CNN Washington Bureau studio in Washington, DC on March 15, 2020. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP) (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)
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(Reporting by Trevor Hunnicutt in New York; Editing by Peter Cooney)

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