Joe Biden VP candidates enter the second round of vetting

Joe Biden VP candidates enter the second round of vetting

Joe Biden is inching closer to choosing his Democratic running mate, as a narrow list of potential female candidates has graduated to a second round of vetting.

Two U.S. senators – Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Kamala Harris of California – are at the top of the veepstakes heap, according to an Associated Press report, along with Susan Rice, who served with Biden as President Barack Obama’s National Security Adviser.

President Trump slammed all three of them as “shady folks” in a retweeted message from campaign staffer Erin Perrine Saturday morning that singled out Rice as having “lied about Russian collusion. ”

The three have passed an initial round of scrutiny by Biden’s vice presidential search committee and have been asked to turn over reams of documents, including financial disclosures and past writings.

But the former veep’s search engine partner remains fluid, insiders said, and includes at least three lesser-known women as well: New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, and Florida Rep. Val Demings.

Race is a key consideration for the Biden camp. Four of the top candidates – Harris, Rice, Bottoms, and Demings – are African American, and Grisham is Hispanic.

Warren and Harris were both featured speakers at the show at the Texas Democratic Party Convention last week, increasing speculation that they were at the top of Biden’s list.

But former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams – who said this week that Biden’s staff did not contact her for vetting, despite her open lobbying for the job – and Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer appears to be out of the running.