Centrists, progressives rally around Harris pick for VP

Centrists and progressives alike rallied around Joe Biden’s running-mate Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) as the former vice president works to solidify support across a party still working to mend its ideological fissures. 

Harris, who ran a progressive presidential campaign before dropping out of the White House race in December, has since then been affiliated with a more mainstream liberal style of politics and has had to fend off criticism from some progressives over policies she enacted during her time as California attorney general. 

Still, Democrats and outside groups of all stripes praised Biden’s decision to add Harris to the 2020 ticket, noting the historicity of making a Black woman the vice presidential nominee of a major political party. 

“History was made today when Kamala Harris became the first woman of color to become the presumptive vice president nominee for any major party. At a time of great unrest and uncertainty around issues of racism, Harris not only represents hope for a more inclusive and tolerant future, but also has the experience our country so desperately needs right now,” said former Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), who co-founded the moderate group One Country. 

“For a little girl who grew up poor, Black and female in the South to be considered during this process has been an incredible honor. I feel so blessed,” added Rep. Val Demings (D-Fla.), who was also under consideration to be Biden’s No. 2. “To see a Black woman nominated for the first time reaffirms my faith that in America, there is a place for every person to succeed no matter who they are or where they come from.”

Progressives also praised Biden’s pick, noting that Harris has fought for liberal causes during her time in the Senate.

“As she has in the fight for marriage equality, taking on the big banks, and reining in predatory colleges, Sen. Harris’s life’s work has been about breaking barriers that hold people back and fighting to secure justice for the people—all the people,” said Neera Tanden, CEO of the Center for American Progress Action Fund.

“I’ve fought alongside Senator @KamalaHarris for direct cash payments during the pandemic and for clean water as a human right,” tweeted Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.). “Now let’s defeat Trump and make those policies a reality.”

Other progressives appeared less enthusiastic about Harris’s spot on the 2020 ticket, but said they would support Biden to unseat President Trump in November.

“It’s no secret that I have disagreements with both VP Joe Biden & Senator Kamala Harris. But I know what I need to do – Elect the Biden-Harris ticket and prepare to hold them accountable in the White House,” tweeted activist Linda Sarsour. 

Harris had faced reproach from some progressives during her presidential campaign over her tenure as California attorney general, with some activists pointing out policies like supporting arrests for marijuana possession and her anti-truancy program.

Still, the Biden campaign reported a spike in interest after making the announcement of Harris’s pick, saying that the hour between 4 and 5 p.m. was its best fundraising hour of the entire campaign.

The campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment regarding just how much money had been raised. 

Trump’s reelection campaign was quick to seize on Harris’s announcement, picking on some of the policies she adopted during her presidential campaign to portray her as part of a “radical mob.”

“Joe Biden is no moderate, and with Harris as his ‘political living will,’ he is surrendering control of our nation to the radical mob with promises to raise taxes, cut police funding, kill energy jobs, open our borders, and appease socialist dictators,”said Katrina Pearson, a senior advisor to Trump’s campaign. “At the ballot box, Americans will resoundingly reject the abysmal failures of Biden-Harris in favor of the America First strength of President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence.”

Tags 2020 election Biden Harris 2020 Donald Trump Heidi Heitkamp Joe Biden Joe Biden Kamala Harris Mike Pence Rashida Tlaib Val Demings

Copyright 2023 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

See all Hill.TV See all Video

Most Popular

Load more


See all Video