Congresswoman Val Demings of Florida said she believes the Democratic vice presidential candidate should be a “woman of color.”
Florida U.S. Rep. Val Demings said Tuesday that she is “honored” her name is being mentioned in regards to a spot on the 2020 Democratic ticket.
“I am pretty honored that my name is being mentioned in those circles,” Demings said on the podcast Signal Boost with Zerlina & Jess on SiriusXM. “There are lots of amazing women of color that could rise to the occasion.”
Demings, who represents a Central Florida district, has endorsed Joe Biden ahead of next week’s Florida primary.
But her name has repeatedly come up as a potential running mate largely owing to her high-profile role in the impeachment of President Trump.
As a member of both the U.S. House intelligence and judiciary committees, Demings had a unique role in investigating the president’s Ukraine policy as well as drafting and debating the two articles of impeachment.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi then named Demings one of seven House Managers who prosecuted the case against Trump in the U.S. Senate trial, where Demings again stood out. Trump was acquitted on both articles last month.
In January, one of her colleagues, U.S. Rep. Lois Frankel, D-West Palm Beach, enthusiastically said Demings should be chosen as the vice presidential candidate.
“They say Stacey Abrams, but I’m with Val Demings all the way,” said Frankel.
Abrams is a former Georgia lawmaker who narrowly lost the race for governor in 2018. In addition to Abrams, speculation has also centered on California U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris.
On the podcast, Demings said she strongly believes the vice president’s spot should be offered to “a woman of color.”
“I join the chorus of voices who say it should be a woman of color,” said Demings, who served as Orlando’s first African American woman chief of police. “If we continue to say that America is ready for a woman [to be elected] then seeing is believing. I really think the second executive position in the United States should reflect the diversity ... we have in this country and a woman of color would round out that ticket.”
Demings said gender and racial diversity on the ticket would cause a “wave of excitement” that would sweep Biden to victory against Trump.
“And lord knows we need to win in November,” she said.
Demings also lauded the campaign run by Massachusetts U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren. She said, despite her support for Biden, it was a “bitter” moment when Warren exited the race for president.
“As a country we say we are ready to elect a woman,” Demings said. “But [Warren] said it best that we will be ready to elect a woman when we elect a woman.“
Demings also said she believes female candidates come under greater scrutiny than their male counterparts.
“There’s a double standard out there,” Demings said.
She said that when men and women look at female candidates they assess “electability or likeability.” That’s not the case when it comes to assessing male candidates.
“With men, people just look at their skills and their ability to do the job,” Demings said. “But with women it’s who I like and what she is wearing today. There just is a double standard.”