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 HarrisThe Memo: Debate or debacle? Biden will keep debating Trump, campaign says Joe Scarborough urges Biden: 'Do not do anymore debates' 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.” 


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 BidenFive takeaways from Trump-Biden debate clash The Memo: Debate or debacle? Democrats rip Trump for not condemning white supremacists, Proud Boys at 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 TrumpFive takeaways from Trump-Biden debate clash The Memo: Debate or debacle? Democrats rip Trump for not condemning white supremacists, Proud Boys at debate 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 WarrenWarren won't meet with Barrett, calling Trump's nomination an 'illegitimate power grab' The Hill's Campaign Report: Trump's tax bombshell | More election drama in Pennsylvania | Trump makes up ground in new polls New Biden campaign ad jabs at Trump's reported 0 income tax payments MORE (D-Mass.) and Bernie SandersBernie SandersTrump, Biden clash over health care as debate begins Biden calls Trump a 'liar' and a 'clown' at first debate Biden mocks Trump campaign debate claims: 'I've got my earpiece and performance enhancers ready' MORE (I-Vt.).

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