Harris: 'I have nothing but praise for Obama'

Harris: 'I have nothing but praise for Obama'
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White House hopeful Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisHarris bashes Kavanaugh's 'sham' nomination process, calls for his impeachment after sexual misconduct allegation Gun control: Campaigning vs. legislating Booker defends middle-ground health care approach: 'We're going to fight to get there' MORE (D-Calif.) praised former President Obama Thursday, a day after some of his policies were criticized at Wednesday’s Democratic presidential primary debate.

“I have nothing but praise for President Obama. I think he did great work,” she told reporters Thursday. “We talked about the health care system. Many presidents before him tried to reform America’s health care system. He actually got it done.” 

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Harris has proposed a health care system that would transition the country to a “Medicare for All” system in 10 years and in the meantime preserve a role for private insurance companies.

On Thursday, she said her platform is only possible because of Obama’s implementation of the Affordable Care Act. 

“My proposal is about taking it to the next step, but with all righteous and due credit to President Obama for putting us on the path where this next step is even possible,” the California Democrat said.

Her comments came a day after she and former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden bemoans white supremacy in remarks at civil rights movement site Gun control: Campaigning vs. legislating Sunday shows - Guns dominate after Democratic debate MORE clashed over Harris's health care proposal.

Biden attacked Harris for her Medicare for All plan, warning of tax increases and the elimination of employer-based private insurance, continuing a tussle between two front-runners that began in the first debate.

Biden said Harris’s plan “will cost $3 trillion [and] you will lose your employer-based insurance.”

“You can’t beat President TrumpDonald John TrumpHarris bashes Kavanaugh's 'sham' nomination process, calls for his impeachment after sexual misconduct allegation Celebrating 'Hispanic Heritage Month' in the Age of Trump Let's not play Charlie Brown to Iran's Lucy MORE with double talk on this plan,” Biden added as he went after her, saying she had been veering back and forth on whether to eliminate private insurance. 

Harris responded that Biden’s comments were “simply inaccurate” and that Biden’s plan would leave out about 10 million Americans. 

“The cost of doing nothing is far too expensive,” Harris said. “We must act.”

The health care exchange is reflective of a party that is becoming more liberal. Though Obama remains broadly popular among Democrats, some progressive activists and candidates have called for a new leader willing to take bolder action.

Biden has campaigned largely on defending ObamaCare, and his more moderate plan would give people the option of a government-run plan but also allow private insurance to remain.

Harris has proposed more aggressive reforms, though her plan still falls short of the ambitious Medicare for All proposed by Sens. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenGun control: Campaigning vs. legislating Booker defends middle-ground health care approach: 'We're going to fight to get there' Democrats spar over electoral appeal of 'Medicare for All' MORE (D-Mass.) and Bernie SandersBernie SandersGun control: Campaigning vs. legislating Booker defends middle-ground health care approach: 'We're going to fight to get there' Sunday shows preview: Democratic candidates make the rounds after debate MORE (I-Vt.).

Talking to reporters earlier, Biden slammed other 2020 rivals for criticizing Obama's policies.