Progressive activist praises Harris as 'hardest-hitting' candidate

Progressive activist Scott Dworkin said Monday that he believes Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisBiden campaign says no VP pick yet after bike trail quip Hillary Clinton roasts NYT's Maureen Dowd over column Biden edges closer to VP pick: Here's who's up and who's down MORE (D-Calif.) has emerged as the “hardest-hitting” presidential candidate.

“Right now, the hardest-hitting candidate has been Harris,” Dworkin, co-founder and lead investigator of the advocacy group the Democratic Coalition, told Hill.TV during an interview on “Rising.”

“Close second, is [Sen. Elizabeth] Warren [D-Mass.]," he added.

"We need someone who can do the jabs, the one liners," Dworkin explained. “The person who can come back and overcome Trump because we’ve got to work against propaganda, we got to work against the White House, the DOJ [Department of Justice] and every part of the administration.”

Dworkin’s comments come after both Warren and Harris touted strong performances in the first Democratic debate. Warren appeared on the first night of debates, while Harris took the stage alongside top-tier contenders like former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden says Trump executive order is 'a reckless war on Social Security' Trump got into testy exchange with top GOP donor Adelson: report Blumenthal calls for declassification of materials detailing Russian threat to US elections MORE and Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Memo: Trump team pounces on Biden gaffes The Hill's Campaign Report: US officials say Russia, China are looking to sow discord in election Warren urges investment in child care workers amid pandemic MORE (I-Vt.) the following night. 

Harris made headlines for calling out Biden for his prior remarks on working with segregationists in the Senate, which he has since apologized for.

She went on to criticize the former vice president over his past stance on opposing federally mandated busing.

“On this subject, it cannot be an intellectual debate among Democrats, we have to take it seriously, we have to act swiftly,” she said.

Biden called Harris’s criticism a mischaracterization of his stance. Though he stood by his record on civil rights, the former vice president later admitted that his positions have evolved with the rest of the country.

The exchange nevertheless appeared to cause a dent in Biden's front-runner status. National polling following the debate showed Biden losing ground, and other polls — including Hill.TV's own Hill-HarrisX poll — found Harris’s rocketing into second place. 

However, Harris nevertheless lags behind her fellow contenders in her fundraising efforts.

While Warren raked in more than $19 million in the past three months, Harris earned roughly less than $12 million, putting her well behind Biden and even South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegCNN's Ana Navarro to host Biden roundtable on making 'Trump a one-term president' Former Indiana Gov. Joe Kernan dies How Republicans can embrace environmentalism and win MORE.

—Tess Bonn