Former President Obama on Tuesday commended Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisStefanik in ad says Democrats want 'permanent election insurrection' Live coverage: California voters to decide Newsom's fate Florida woman faces five years in prison for threatening to kill Harris MORE (D-Calif.) after Joe BidenJoe BidenHouse Democrat threatens to vote against party's spending bill if HBCUs don't get more federal aid Overnight Defense & National Security — The Pentagon's deadly mistake Haitians stuck in Texas extend Biden's immigration woes MORE selected her to be his running mate, saying the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee has an "ideal partner" to tackle the "real challenges America faces right now and in the years ahead."
"Choosing a vice president is the first important decision a president makes," Obama said in a statement. "Joe Biden nailed this decision.
"By choosing Harris as America’s next vice president, he’s underscored his own judgment and character," he added. "Reality shows us that these attributes are not optional in a president. They’re requirements of the job. And now Joe has an ideal partner to help him tackle the very real challenges America faces right now and in the years ahead."
Biden earlier Tuesday announced that Harris would be his running mate, setting her up to be the first Black woman to be vice president if Biden defeats President TrumpDonald TrumpOvernight Defense & National Security — The Pentagon's deadly mistake Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by Climate Power — Interior returns BLM HQ to Washington France pulls ambassadors to US, Australia in protest of submarine deal MORE in the November election.
In announcing the decision, Biden described Harris, a former rival in the Democratic presidential primary, as "smart, tough, and ready to lead." He also lauded her career in public office, including her time spent as the attorney general of California. Obama echoed those comments, saying that Harris is "more than prepared for the job" and that her story embodies a "fundamentally American perspective."
"It’s a perspective we can all rally behind right now," Obama said. "This is a good day for our country. Now let’s go win this thing."
Harris has served as the junior senator representing California since 2017. She launched a campaign for president last year, and her signature moment came during a primary debate in which she confronted Biden on his civil rights record.
Harris suspended her campaign before the primaries kicked off after polls showed her trailing several candidates.
Biden said in March that he would pick a female running mate if he earned the Democratic nomination. Harris had emerged as a favorite to become his pick as the former vice president neared a decision.
In April, she said that she would be "honored" to to serve in Biden's Cabinet as vice president.
"I think what's most important is that we all join together, that we unify the party, that we unify the country and that we elect Joe Biden because Donald Trump does not know how to do the job," she said at the time.