Progressive activist praises Harris as 'hardest-hitting' candidate

Progressive activist Scott Dworkin said Monday that he believes Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisWhat to expect when Mueller testifies: Not much Biden compares Trump to George Wallace CNN Democratic debate drawing finishes third in cable news ratings race 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 compares Trump to George Wallace Sanders unveils plan to guarantee the 'right to a secure retirement' CNN Democratic debate drawing finishes third in cable news ratings race MORE and Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersGabbard arrives in Puerto Rico to 'show support' amid street protests Democratic strategist predicts most 2020 candidates will drop out in late fall Sanders unveils plan to guarantee the 'right to a secure retirement' 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 ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegDemocratic strategist predicts most 2020 candidates will drop out in late fall The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump hits media over 'send her back' coverage The Hill's Campaign Report: Second debate lineups set up high-profile clash MORE.

—Tess Bonn