Michigan Gov. Whitmer met with Biden as running mate announcement nears
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer traveled to Delaware last weekend for a private meeting with former Vice President and presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden, two Democratic officials confirmed to NBC News.
News of the meeting was first reported earlier Friday by The Associated Press, which said that the meeting was Biden's first known in-person session with a potential running mate.
The meeting lasted several hours, one of the two Democratic officials who confirmed the meeting said.
Biden had said he planned to make an announcement the first week in August, but aides later said that was unlikely. Whitmer declined to comment when asked about the meeting.
On Thursday, NBC News reported that Whitmer was among those still under serious consideration.
Democrats with knowledge of the process have said Whitmer did not recently re-emerge as a potential vice presidential pick but had long remained in Biden’s top tier.
Public speculation of a possible pick has also centered around Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., Rep. Karen Bass, D-Calif., former national security adviser Susan Rice and Rep. Val Demings, D-Fla, with Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., also in the running.
Michigan is a battleground state, and President Donald Trump narrowly won it in the 2016 election by around 10,700 votes.
Whitmer has earned the respect of Biden officials for her role in responding to the coronavirus pandemic — at times in the face of protests that included demonstrations outside the state capitol building in which some protesters were armed, and a tweet by Trump that read "Liberate Michigan!" in capital letters.
She elevated her public profile earlier this year by battling with Trump over the federal response to the pandemic.
Senior Biden campaign officials have made clear again in recent days that they believe the COVID-19 pandemic combined with Trump’s management of the crisis and the resulting economic fallout is the central issue of the fall campaign.