Harris Says Biden Broke Longstanding Barriers by Picking Her
Senator Kamala Harris, presumptive Democratic vice presidential nominee, listens during a campaign event in Wilmington, Delaware, U.S. (Photographer: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg)

Harris Says Biden Broke Longstanding Barriers by Picking Her

Kamala Harris said Friday that Democratic nominee Joe Biden had broken through “one of the most substantial barriers” in the U.S. by picking her to be his running mate.

“Joe Biden had the audacity to choose a Black woman to be his running mate. How incredible is that?” Harris said in her first one-on-one interview since the former vice president announced Tuesday that she would join the ticket.

“That he decided he was going to do that thing that was about breaking one of the most substantial barriers that has existed in our country -- and he made that decision with whatever risk that brings,” she said in the interview with The 19th News, an outlet focused on gender and politics, which was aired on MSNBC.

Harris, the first Black and Indian-American woman on a major-party presidential ticket, said Biden “pushed forward something that might have otherwise taken decades” by picking her and that the Democrats were “representing who America really is.”

She noted that Black women are under-represented in politics and said she planned to get them to the polls by contrasting the Biden-Harris message with President Donald Trump’s “hate and division.”

“When you have one ticket saying ‘Black Lives Matter’ and another who has been full-time sowing hate and division in our country, those are the things that are going to motivate Black women to vote,” she said.

Harris said voter suppression laws in some states would be obstacles in November, particularly for voters of color.

“Everybody has to remember this and ask this question of yourself: ‘Why don’t they want us to vote? Why are they creating obstacles to us voting?’ Well, the answer is, when we vote, things change,” she said.

Harris’s comments come after Trump on Thursday directly tied his opposition to funding for the Postal Service to his criticism of efforts to encourage mail-in voting during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Washington Post reported Friday that the Postal Service recently sent letters to 46 states and the District of Columbia warning that mail-in ballots might not arrive in time to be counted, further clouding the outlook for the election.

Since the announcement of her selection for the ticket, she has already come under attack by Trump who characterized Harris as a “madwoman” who is “mean” and “nasty” and a radical leftist.

During a news conference on Thursday, Trump said he would “take a look” at a false “birther” theory that Harris was not eligible to run as vice-president because her parents were immigrants. She was born in California and therefore eligible.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

BQ Install

Bloomberg Quint

Add BloombergQuint App to Home screen.