Harris And Biden Explain How They Put Aside Their Differences And Overcame Grudges To Take On Trump
The two politicians cited their long-standing friendship as their means for overcoming grudges.
August 19, 2020 at 6:56 pm
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and his running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris, told People this week they have moved on from a bruising primary season and are now focused on beating President Donald Trump in November.
For weeks before her selection, political analysts and members of Biden's vice president search committee said Harris' attacks on Biden during the debates last year were hurting her chances at becoming his running mate, Politico reported.
Despite their differences, in their first joint interview since Biden announced Harris as his vice president, the two politicians cited their long-standing friendship as their means for overcoming grudges.
"Well, we go back a long way. She was friends with my Beau, my son. The first time I was aware of who she was, I got a phone call from Beau saying, 'I want you to nominate Kamala Harris for the United States Senate. She’s a friend of mine,'" Biden said.
Harris added that she got to know Biden as a person through his son and commended him for choosing a woman as his running mate.
"Joe Biden had the audacity to say he was going to have a woman as his vice president. He didn’t apologize for it. In a country where we still have so much to do to fight toward our ideals, he just fast-forwarded the whole thing," she told People.
Biden said it was necessary for him to choose a woman as vice president because "the government should look like the country."
He noted the "new law of physics in politics" is countries that do not "engage more than half their population in sharing the full responsibilities of governance and power is absolutely going to lose."
"This is who we are [gestures to Harris next to him]. This is America," he said.
Some of the most notable moments from the debates between the Democratic presidential candidates revolved around Harris going after Biden for his past policy decisions.
During a June 2019 debate, Harris called out Biden's past stance on school desegregation and busing, sharing a powerful story about how his work with segregationist senators directly impacted her life, The New York Times reported.
Headlines centered around Biden when he shared an anecdote about working with two segregationists in the Senate. He later apologized, but the remark and his well-known past became punching bags for other candidates on the debate stage.
Harris bashed him for his past work with Sens. James O. Eastland of Mississippi and Herman Talmadge of Georgia, two avowed segregationalists. According to The Times, Eastland repeatedly called Black people the "inferior race,” and both he and Talmadge worked against the Civil Rights Movement.
.@SenKamalaHarris is asked if she’s concerned about Biden’s segregationist remarks: “Yes it concerns me deeply. If those men had their way, I wouldn’t be in the United States Senate and on this elevator right now.”
— Mariam Khan (@MKhan47) June 19, 2019
Ultimately, Harris' campaign ran out of money, and she was forced to end her presidential run in December, Politico reported at the time.
“I’m not a billionaire. I can’t fund my own campaign. And as the campaign has gone on, it has become harder and harder to raise the money we need to compete. In good faith, I can’t tell you, my supporters and volunteers, that I have a path forward if I don’t believe I do,” Harris said in a message to supporters.
Even before she dropped out of the race, Harris's name was floated as a potential vice president pick.
But in late July, Politico revealed that members of Biden's vice president search committee wanted Harris to apologize for her attacks on him during the debates. Former Sen. Chris Dodd told Politico that she "had no remorse" and refused to back down from what she said during the debates.
She allegedly scoffed at Dodd and said, "That's politics."
As the two work together in campaigning, Harris and Biden seem to share a commonality that's undeniable: the importance of family.
Harris praised Biden for extending open arms to her stepchildren and husband Doug Emhoff. She said they have spent time with Biden and his wife Jill at their home enjoying chocolate chip cookies and looking at family pictures.