Harris blasts Trump ahead of his convention speech: 'He has failed'

Democratic vice presidential nominee Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisJoe Biden looks to expand election battleground into Trump country Fox's Napolitano: Supreme Court confirmation hearings will be 'World War III of political battles' Rush Limbaugh encourages Senate to skip hearings for Trump's SCOTUS nominee MORE (D-Calif.) on Thursday launched a blistering attack at President TrumpDonald John TrumpBubba Wallace to be driver of Michael Jordan, Denny Hamlin NASCAR team Graham: GOP will confirm Trump's Supreme Court nominee before the election Southwest Airlines, unions call for six-month extension of government aid MORE ahead of his speech at the Republican National Convention, saying the president has failed to protect the U.S. in a time of multiple crises.

"Unlike the Democratic convention, which was very clear-eyed about the challenges we face and how we will tackle them, the Republican convention is designed for one purpose: to soothe Donald Trump's ego, to make him feel good," Harris said, speaking from George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

"But here's the thing. He's the president of the United States and it's not supposed to be about him," she continued. "It's supposed to be about the health and the safety and the well-being of the American people, and on that measure, Donald Trump has failed."

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"You see, at its most basic level, Donald Trump doesn't understand the presidency. He thinks it's all about him. Well, it's not. It's about you," she said.

Harris went on to hit Trump on his response to the coronavirus pandemic, drawing a contrast between how he has handled the public health crisis and how a Biden-Harris administration would tackle the issue. 

"Trump dismissed the threat, but Joe BidenJoe BidenJoe Biden looks to expand election battleground into Trump country Trump puts Supreme Court fight at center of Ohio rally Special counsel investigating DeVos for potential Hatch Act violation: report MORE sounded the alarm," Harris said. "Trump still doesn't have a plan. He still doesn't have a plan. Joe Biden released his first plan in March." 

"Here's what you have to understand about the nature of a pandemic: It's relentless," she added. "You can't stop it with a tweet. You can't create a distraction and hope it will go away. It doesn't go away. By its nature, a pandemic is unforgiving. If you get it wrong at the beginning, the consequences are catastrophic." 

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Harris also addressed the shooting of Jacob Blake, an unarmed Black man who was shot by police in Wisconsin earlier this week, and the subsequent fallout of the shooting. 

“As Vice President Biden put it, the shots fired at Mr. Blake pierced the soul of our nation," Harris said. “Thankfully he is alive today, but he is fighting for his life and he shouldn’t have to be." 

Harris noted that she and Biden spoke with the Blake family on Wednesday. She also expressed her support for peaceful protests against racial injustice and police brutality, adding that peaceful protesters should not be confused with looters and rioters.

“People are rightfully angry and exhausted, and after the murders of Breonna [Taylor] and George [Floyd], and so many others, it’s no wonder that people have taken to the streets, and I support them," Harris said. 

Harris's remarks come hours before Trump is slated to accept the nomination for a second term at the Republican National Convention with a speech from the White House. 

The president is expected to go on offense in his remarks, echoing the attacks against Biden and Harris made by other convention speakers over the past week. 

Vice President Pence referred to Biden as a "trojan horse for a radical agenda" in his remarks to the GOP from Baltimore on Thursday. 

“You won’t be safe in Joe Biden’s America," he said.