Rep. Karen Bass says VP speculation is surreal

Following mounting speculation that she is being seriously considered as Joe Biden’s running mate, FOX 11’s Elex Michaelson asked Representative Karen Bass (D-CA) if she could have ever imagined as a little girl that she might be considered as a potential Vice President.

“No, I can’t imagine that as a big girl,” replied the five-term Congresswoman. “It’s still very, very surreal, but it’s an absolute honor that people would talk about me in the way that they have.”

According to various reports and insiders, Bass is now shortlisted alongside the likes of Senators Kamala Harris (D-CA), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) for the coveted running mate position - Biden has previously indicated his running mate will be a woman, with many suggesting the pick should be a woman of color.

On Friday, the New York Times narrowed the list even further, reporting that the contest was between just Bass and former Obama National Security Advisor Susan Rice.

In an exclusive interview with Michaelson for The Issue Is, Bass praised Rice, calling her “an amazing person” and a “dear friend.”

Despite decades in public service, Bass’s ascent in the Vice Presidential conversation has been a rapid one.

In fact, when Bass appeared on The Issue Is on June 12, she claimed that she was not being vetted, unless the process was taking place in secret, but that if asked, she would “of course” accept an offer to join the Biden ticket.

Since that interview, as Bass, as Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, led the House effort for Police Reform, Bass began to receive growing notice in the so-called Veepstakes, amassing praise and support from the likes of conservative columnist George Will and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.

On Monday, conservative pollster Frank Luntz even made the case for Bass directly to Biden himself, as the three converged at the Capitol during a memorial for the late Congressman John Lewis.

“She is the best person,” Luntz can be heard telling Biden on tape, although Bass said she was not in earshot when the video was recorded. “I can’t believe I’m doing this, she is so kind, and she is so decent.”

“I think it’s just that I’ve always tried to focus on the work, I’ve always just tried to focus on the issues, that’s it,” Bass said of the new-found attention.“What I’m most moved by is that people have recognized that my whole reason for doing the work that I do is that I’m deeply concerned about the American people, period. It’s nothing more than that.”

Bass further described the current moment as a whirlwind, especially as it comes while the country reels from the loss of some 150,000 Americans from COVID-19 and the ongoing racial strife that has spilled into the streets.

For Bass though, that whirlwind may subside somewhat soon, as reports suggest Biden is set to announce his running mate selection the week of August 10, if not sooner.

In a wide-ranging interview on The Issue Is, Bass also discussed the ongoing Congressional debate over continued COVID-19 relief, the status of her George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, and the legacy of Congressman Lewis.

The Issue Is is California's only statewide political show. Watch FOX 11 Los Angeles Fridays at 10:30PM and Sundays at 9:30AM. For more showtimes and information, go to