When asked about his thoughts on the 2020 field, outgoing California Governor Jerry Brown (D) recently told the Associated Press that white men will “probably be running things for quite a bit of time” and wondered, “What’s wrong with white men?”
The Associated Press asked Brown, who recently told NPR that national Democrats are becoming too radical for voters, for a piece over the weekend if having three white men—Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), former Vice President Joe Biden, and Rep. Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke—as his party’s early 2020 frontrunners hurts Democrats, especially after the 2018 midterm elections in which Democrats celebrated successful female and minority candidates.
“Look, it’s not the skin color, it’s who’s the right person with the right set of qualities to lead the nation,” Brown reportedly said. “That can be a man or a woman, it can be someone of a background other than what we’ve seen for most of our history.”
Other Democrats have warned that nominating a white man in 2020 could turn off Democrats of color the party cannot afford to lose in what is expected to be a tight 2020 battle against Trump.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) recently told CNN host Van Jones that she was worried that the three current frontrunners are white men.
“I aspire for our country to recognize the beauty of our diversity in some point in the future, and I hope someday we have a woman president,” Gillibrand told Jones.
Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), a potential presidential contender, also reportedly the Associated Press that she would “hope” that her party’s presidential nominee would be representative of the country in terms of race and gender.
Biden, Sanders, and O’Rourke have led various year-end polls and straw polls that serve as snap shots before candidates formally announce their candidacies in 2019. Biden topped the Des Moines Register’s Iowa Poll. Sanders led the most recent Democracy for America straw poll while O’Rourke narrowly led MoveOn’s straw poll.