Democratic presidential hopefuls Joe Biden (left) and Bernie Sanders participate in a candidate debate at CNN studios in Washington, D.C., on March 15.
Democratic presidential hopefuls Joe Biden (left) and Bernie Sanders participate in a candidate debate at CNN studios in Washington, D.C., on March 15.

Regardless of who wins the Democratic nomination for president, the nation already knows it will be a man who will go up against Donald Trump in November.

Now, the nation knows that a woman will likely serve as vice president under the next president if the Democrats take back the White House.

“There are a number of women qualified to be president tomorrow. I would pick a woman to be my vice president,” Former Vice President Joe Biden said during his one-on-one debate with Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders on Sunday.

“In all likelihood, I will,” Sanders countered. “For me, it’s not just nominating a woman. It is making sure that we have a progressive woman, and there are progressive women out there. So, my very strong tendency is to move in that direction.”

Among those Biden could consider: former Georgia State Rep. Stacey Abrams, former Attorney General Sally Yates or California Sen. Kamala Harris.

Sanders could consider: Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), former Ohio state Sen. Nina Turner or New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Originally scheduled to take place in Arizona, the debate moved to the District because of the coronavirus pandemic.

It also occurred just two days before scheduled primaries in Arizona, Florida, Illinois and Ohio.

Many observers indicated their belief that it could be the last debate before the Democratic National Convention scheduled to take place in Milwaukee in July. The theory stems from the fact that Biden could virtually lock up the nomination with a strong showing this week, particularly if the Democratic National Committee, in conjunction with Sanders, decides it’s in the best interest of the party for the Vermont senator to concede.

Political observers said the coronavirus, which has already forced the postponement of several upcoming primaries, will make it difficult for voters to cast their ballots.

As Biden and Sanders entered the debate room inside an audience-free CNN Washington, D.C. bureau, they may have noticed that the podiums and microphones spaced six feet apart – a change from the norm due to a recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Also, keeping with CDC recommendations to prevent the spread of coronavirus, Sanders and Biden abstained from the traditional handshake in exchange for bumping elbows.

During the debate, Sanders criticized Biden’s for voting for the Defense of Marriage Act, trade agreements like NAFTA, authorization for the War in Iraq and a 2005 bill on bankruptcy.

Biden countered that Sanders repeatedly voted against the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act – a bill that sought to curb gun violence.

“I voted against the Defense of Marriage Act. You voted for it. I voted against the bankruptcy bill, you voted for it. I voted against the war in Iraq, which was also a tough vote, you voted for it,” Sanders said.

“I voted against the disastrous trade agreements like NAFTA and PNTR with China, which cost this country over 4 million good-paying jobs. You voted for it. I voted against the Hyde amendment, which denies low-income women the right to get an abortion. You have consistently voted for it. It takes courage sometimes to vote and do the right thing,” he said.

Biden responded that Sanders could argue about the past but noted that his opponent voted against the Brady bill five times. Background checks. Background checks. Five times,” Biden shot back.

“This man is one of the few Democrats I know who voted to exempt the gun industry from being able to be sued. Talk about a special, special interest. We should be able to sue drug companies. We should be able to sue tobacco companies,” Biden continued.

“We can’t sue gun manufacturers because he voted for that years ago. He says it was a mistake now. I am prepared to accept he says it was a mistake. The question is, what do we do from this point on?”

One moderator asked the candidates their steps taken to protect themselves during the coronavirus pandemic. Sanders has ceased hosting rallies while Biden said he’s only doing virtual town halls.

“This is about America. This is about the world. This is about how we bring people together and make the kind of sacrifices we need to make to get this done,” Biden said of the pandemic.

“So first and foremost, what we have to do is start to listen to science again. Donald Trump has exacerbated every single one of these problems – both the immediate urgent need and how we’re going to hold people harmless for the damage done as a consequence of this virus. It’s important we do both,” he said.

Sanders noted that this is a time to move aggressively in dealing with the coronavirus crisis and the economic fallout.

“But it is also time to rethink America and create a country where we care about each other rather than a nation of greed and corruption, which is what is taking place among the corporate elite,” he said.

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Stacy M. Brown is a senior writer for The Washington Informer and the senior national correspondent for the Black Press of America. Stacy has more than 25 years of journalism experience and has authored...

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