Former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams is looking to put those Biden 2020 rumors to rest once and for all. While promoting her new book over the weekend, Abrams said that rumors she and former vice president Joe Biden had plans to run on the same 2020 ticket are just that — rumors. In fact, Abrams deemed the Joe Biden rumors "pure speculation."
"Vice President Biden and I had a lovely lunch," The Hill reported Abrams said Sunday at a Writers Bloc Presents event in Los Angeles, California. "And we talked about food and we talked about... I mean, look, we talked about the presidency and what it means."
But Abrams, who was on hand Sunday to discuss her new book, Lead from the Outside, claimed her conversation with Biden never took that turn. "We talked about whether I was thinking about running. We talked about whether he was thinking about running," she said. "But we did not have that conversation and everything else is pure speculation made up by somebody else."
Earlier in the month, Axios reporter Mike Allen reported that Biden's "close advisers" were considering "packaging" the former vice president's 2020 presidential campaign announcement with a vow to name Abrams as his running mate. According to the news outlet, Biden's advisers had reportedly thought Abrams might help to "bring diversity and excitement" to a Biden 2020 campaign while also mitigating potential concerns over the former vice president's age. At 76, Biden would be the oldest person ever elected president if he won the 2020 election. By comparison, Abrams is 45.
A spokesperson for Abrams, however, refuted the report, saying Friday that although Abrams had "enjoyed meeting" with Biden, "there was no grand plan hatched and no additional conversations between the two of them or our teams since."
Abrams' spokesperson went on to say that the former Georgia gubernatorial candidate was keeping "all options for herself on the table" but would meet with any potential or declared 2020 presidential candidate who asked for a meeting.
A representative for Biden also refuted reports the former vice president had selected Abrams as his running mate. "[Biden has an enormous amount of respect for @staceyabrams," Biden spokesperson Bill Russo tweeted Friday, adding that was why he'd endorsed her gubernatorial race in 2018. "But these rumors about discussions on a pre-cooked ticket are false, plain and simple."
While Abrams hasn't ruled out a 2020 bid of her own, she also hasn't made anything official. In February, she told Chris Hayes during a live taping of his podcast, Why Is This Happening?, that she'd been approached "by groups and by individuals" who'd asked her to think about running for president in 2020. "I don't think you say no to anything," she said. "I think it's important for the American imagination for us to expand what we believe is possible."
According to The Hill, Abrams told the crowd in Los Angeles on Sunday that her decision of whether to run in 2020 was still "not very planned out."
"I am thinking about it," she said.