The Hill’s Campaign Report: Biden, Harris make first public appearance as running mates
Welcome to The Hill’s Campaign Report, your daily rundown on all the latest news in the 2020 presidential, Senate and House races. Did someone forward this to you? Click here to subscribe.
We’re Julia Manchester, Max Greenwood and Jonathan Easley. Here’s what we’re watching today on the campaign trail.
BREAKING NEWS: Biden and Harris: together at last
Joe Biden and Kamala Harris made their first public appearance together as running mates on Wednesday some 24 hours after the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee named the junior senator from California as his pick for the vice presidency.
It was a big moment for Democrats, coming after a bruising presidential primary and months of speculation over whom Biden would eventually choose to join him at the top of the ticket. With Biden’s selection of Harris as his running mate, she became the first Black woman and first Asian American to run at the top of a major party’s presidential ticket — a fact that both Biden and Harris touted at their first campaign event together on Wednesday.
“After the most competitive primary in history, the country received a resounding message that Joe was the person to lead us forward,” Harris said. “And Joe, I’m so proud to stand with you. And I do so mindful of all of the heroic and ambitious women before me whose sacrifice, determination and resilience makes my presence here today even possible.”
“This morning, all across the nation, little girls woke up, especially little Black and brown girls who so often feel overlooked and undervalued in their communities,” Biden said. “But today just maybe they’re seeing themselves for the first time in a new way, as the stuff of president and vice presidents.”
The event also offers some early insight into how Biden and Harris will work together on the campaign trail. The two sparred bitterly at times during the Democratic primary contest last year, with Harris at one point accusing Biden of being sympathetic toward segregationist senators decades ago and opposing school busing in the 1970s. There were no signs of lingering hard feelings on Wednesday, though, with Biden praising Harris as a “strong woman” who’s prepared to do the job of vice president “on Day One.” Harris said that her and Biden were “cut from the same cloth.”
The two also took turns taking shots at President Trump, who has sought to define Harris over the past 24 hours as a left-wing radical and a “nasty” and “disrespectful” person. Biden said that Trump just felt threatened.
“Is anyone surprised Donald Trump has a problem with a strong woman, or strong women across the board?” he asked.
TRUMP’S TWITTER TUESDAY:
The president caused multiple uproars over Twitter on Tuesday.
The president channeled decades of racist attacks by claiming he would win the “suburban housewife” vote because he ended an Obama-era rule aimed at ending racial discrimination in neighborhoods. Trump claimed Biden would reinstall the rule with help from Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.). Trump misspelled Booker’s name in the tweet; the New Jersey senator promptly fired back at the president.
Donaled, your racism is showing.
— Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) August 12, 2020
Trump also threw his support behind Marjorie Taylor Greene, who has made incendiary comments about Black people and Muslims and believes in the QAnon conspiracy theory. Trump called Greene, who won the GOP primary in Georgia’s 14th District last night, a “future Republican star.”
Greene looks like she will be a major headache for GOP leaders in the House. In case you missed it, here’s what she said about Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) during her victory speech last night.
“She’s a hypocrite. She’s anti-American. And we’re gonna kick that b—- out of Congress.”
Biden will enter the convention next week as the heavy favorite to be the next president.
FiveThirtyEight released its new election forecasting mode,l and it gives Biden a 71 percent chance of winning, compared to 29 percent for President Trump. A word of caution — there are still three debates and two conventions, and nobody knows what the coronavirus or economy will look like in November. In 2016, FiveThirtyEight’s Election Day forecast also gave Democrat Hillary Clinton a 71 percent chance of winning. It didn’t work out that way.
But Biden has a clear lead in most of the battleground states, giving him some room for error and a wider path to victory.
Change Research came out with their latest swing state polls on Tuesday. Biden leads by between 1 point and 6 points in Michigan (5), Pennsylvania (4), Wisconsin (4), Florida (6) and Arizona (1). Trump leads by 1 point in North Carolina.
POST OFFICE POLITICS:
House Oversight and Reform Committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney, (D-N.Y.) fresh off a narrow primary victory where the results were delayed for weeks to count mail ballots, introduced legislation on Tuesday that would block the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) from implementing a series of proposed changes amid the coronavirus pandemic.
There is expected to be a surge of mail and absentee balloting in November. Democrats are worried that the Trump administration, and new Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, are taking steps to slow the delivery of mail ahead of November to sow confusion and potentially delay election results.
DeJoy will testify before Oversight in September. There have been media reports that he has cut back on overtime and implemented new rules that could delay the delivery of mail. The USPS has denied the media reports and told Congress last week that it lost more than $2 billion last quarter.
Here’s a story Democrats are following closely: The New York Times reports that Kanye West recently met with White House senior adviser Jared Kushner as the rap star ramps up his efforts to get on the presidential ballots. Democrats are deeply worried about foul play here, believing Kanye is trying to cut into Biden’s support from Black voters in key states.
MARK YOUR CALENDARS:
We’re 5 days away from the beginning of the Democratic National Convention, 12 days from the beginning of the Republican National Convention, 48 days from the first presidential debate and 83 days out from Election Day.