BEHRENS: Is New Mexico’s Governor Joe Biden’s Silent Running Mate?

Larry Behrens Contributor
Font Size:

New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham is very boisterous and proud of it.

She received a lot of media love for her wall-breaking political ad last year after President Trump’s State of the Union address, and she wasn’t shy about crashing the White House uninvited for an immigration meeting while she was in the House of Representatives. Right or wrong, Governor Lujan Grisham isn’t afraid to make a little noise. That’s what makes her recent silence about Joe Biden so remarkable.

During the most recent Democratic presidential debate, the presumptive Democratic nominee said this about his energy plan, “No more drilling on federal lands. No more drilling, including offshore. No ability for the oil industry to continue to drill, period, ends, number one.”

The former vice president is crystal clear about what he wants for energy, and that is why New Mexico’s Governor has taken a sudden vow of silence.

It’s impossible to understate how critical the energy industry is to New Mexico. Oil and natural gas production provide more than 100,000 jobs and delivered over $3 billion in revenue last year. The bottom line? For every single dollar spent by the state of New Mexico, nearly 40 cents originates from the energy industry.

While New Mexico enjoyed a record state budget surplus, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham trotted out plan-upon-plan to spend the money. Teacher raises, road improvements and even free college for every student were all on the table.

New Mexico is also important in the upcoming election. President Trump is already committing time and resources to try to become the first Republican to capture the state since 2004. The focus on New Mexico has sparked no shortage of speculation about the possibility of Biden pickingGovernor Michelle Lujan Grisham as his running mate. The profile fits, as Biden has officially pledged that he will pick a female running mate and Lujan Grisham’s background meets a number of criteria. One problem: for Michelle Lujan Grisham to agree to Biden’s energy plan would mean supporting the bankruptcy of her own state.

That’s exactly why she plead the fifth when a New Mexico newspaper asked her to respond to Biden’s energy comments. The same politician who happily smiled during interviews about running through walls and crashing White House meetings suddenly has nothing to say.

Pro tip for those auditioning to be the VP pick: when the presumptive party nominee takes a position, you’d better have more of a response than “no comment.” Otherwise, the party nominee will swipe left quicker than you can say “shelter at home.”

The bigger problem for Biden is how he plans to reconcile his green radicalism in energy rich states like New Mexico. In the eyes of New Mexicans, Biden will be running on a platform of unemployment and less money for teachers, all in the name of appeasing the radical eco-left in New York and San Francisco. That’s a big enough wall between reality and ideology that even the most powerful AR-14 can’t break through.

A Biden/Lujan Grisham ticket would mean more than an awkward stance on energy – it would mean thousands of New Mexico energy workers being forced out of a job.

Lujan Grisham may not have a comment right now, but rest assured, New Mexico’s families won’t remain silent.

Larry Behrens is the New Mexico State Director for Power The Future.