Jill Biden: 'You may like another candidate better' but husband is most 'electable'

"I want you to think about your candidate, his or her electability, and who’s going to win this race," the former second lady said.
Image: Joe Biden
Joe Biden arrives with his wife Jill to speak at a community event in Burlington, Iowa, on Aug. 7, 2019.Charlie Neibergall / AP file

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By Amanda Golden and Dareh Gregorian

MANCHESTER, N.H. — Jill Biden told voters in New Hampshire on Monday they should get behind her husband for the 2020 presidential race not necessarily because he is the best candidate, but because he's the most electable.

"I know that not all of you are committed to my husband, and I respect that, but I want you to think about your candidate, his or her electability, and who’s going to win this race," the former second lady said in unusually blunt remarks at a campaign event with educators at the Bookery in Manchester, New Hampshire.

“You know you may like another candidate better but you have to look at who’s going to win," she said, adding that, "Joe is that person.”

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Her remarks come after a Reuters/Ipsos poll earlier this month that found that former Vice President Joe Biden was leading the crowded Democratic field in the polls because Democrats consider him their best shot at ousting President Donald Trump next November.

Jill Biden, a longtime teacher, didn't reference that poll specifically, but noted a number of surveys have shown him leading the pack since he entered the race.

She said she was aware some voters will say polls "don't mean anything, but if they’re consistent and if they’re consistently saying the same thing, I think you can’t dismiss that. I mean you all deal with facts."

Biden said that her husband is the best equipped to take on Trump.

"We have to have someone who can beat him," she said, arguing that his centrist message appeals to independents and some Republicans as well as some `Democrats.

"So yes, you know, your candidate might be better on, I don’t know, healthcare than Joe is, but you’ve got to look at who’s going to win this election, and maybe you have to swallow a little bit and say, 'Okay, I personally like so and so better,' but your bottom line has to be that we have to beat Trump," Biden said.

During the appearance at the New Hampshire bookstore, Biden also spoke at length about her husband's education plans, which she said draws from her 35 years of teaching experience.

Mike Memoli contributed.