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Joe Biden says he will pick a woman running mate, Bernie Sanders likely to do same

The issue came to the fore at the debate between the two Democratic presidential hopefuls.

Joe Biden said for the first time during Sunday's debate that he will "pick a woman to be my vice president" if he's the Democratic nominee.

"If I'm elected president, my Cabinet, my administration will look like the country, and I committed that I will pick a woman to be my vice president," Biden said at the CNN faceoff with Bernie Sanders in Washington.

"There are a number of women qualified to be president," he added.

She the People, an influential group of women of color, released an internal poll this past week showing that Stacey Abrams and Kamala Harris are the leading Democratic vice presidential picks among their members.

Biden had said previously he'd "prefer" to have a woman as his running mate. Asked previously if he'd consider Harris, Biden said: “Of course I would. Look Sen. Harris has the capacity to be anything she wants to be. I mean it sincerely."

"I mean she has enormous capability,” he said of Harris, who has endorsed him.

Democratic presidential hopefuls former US vice president Joe Biden and Vermont 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.Mandel Ngan / Getty Images

Biden also said he'd nominate a black woman to the Supreme Court, something that Sanders committed to do last week.

Asked if he would also commit to having a female running mate, Sanders didn't go quite as far, saying that "in all likelihood" he would.

Sanders said his pick would be a fellow progressive. "There are progressive women out there," he said.