Harris assails Texas governor over abortion comments
Vice President Harris on Wednesday tore into Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) for comments he made about rape and the state’s new restrictive abortion law as she campaigned for California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) in her home state.
Harris began her remarks by expressing disgust at comments Abbott made on Tuesday in which he dismissed concerns about the new Texas law causing rape victims to carry a pregnancy to term and claimed that Texas would “eliminate rape.”
“To arrogantly dismiss concerns about rape survivors and to speak those words that were empty words, that were false words, that were fueled with not only arrogance but bravado. That is not who we want in our leaders,” Harris said during the event in San Leandro, Calif.
“We want in our leaders someone like Gavin Newsom who always speaks the truth on behalf of all the people in a way that is about uplifting, that is about helping to understand the plight of working people, to understand the dignity of all people,” Harris continued.
The vice president described the California recall as a “political game” and touted Newsom’s leadership on the coronavirus pandemic and his support for workers, women’s rights and voting rights.
She also framed the effort as part of a broader push by Republicans to erode rights in states across the country.
“What’s happening in Texas, what’s happening in Georgia, what’s happening around our country with these policies that are about attacking women’s rights, reproductive rights, voting rights, workers’ rights,” Harris told the crowd. “They think if they can win in California, they can do this anywhere. Well, we will show them, you’re not going to get this done. Not here, never.”
Friday’s trip represented Harris’s first major foray on the campaign trail since becoming vice president.
Her remarks offered a preview of sorts of how Democrats will look to put issues like abortion and voting rights at the center of their midterm messaging. The Texas law, which the Supreme Court declined to block last week, bars abortions as early as six weeks into pregnancy and has triggered an onslaught of criticism from Democrats and advocates.
A former senator and attorney general of California, Harris is a close political ally of Newsom and on Wednesday delivered an impassioned appeal for Californians to vote down the recall effort.
“We are here today to say, we fight for Gavin Newsom,” Harris said as she concluded her remarks, which she delivered from a podium adorned with a stop sign that said “stop the Republican recall.”
“We fight for our country, we fight for the values we hold dear, we fight for working people, we fight for organized labor, we fight for Dreamers, we fight for women, we fight for voting rights and we stand as Democrats saying we are proud to do all of that and more,” she said.
President Biden is expected to travel to California at the beginning of next week to boost the governor ahead of Tuesday’s recall election.
Polls show Newsom with a comfortable edge in the recall effort. A Suffolk University poll released Wednesday found nearly 58 percent are against the recall and want Newsom to remain governor while 41 percent are in favor of a recall.