Democratic California Sen. Kamala Harris is currently a top contender for presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s vice presidential slot. Here are the first four facts you need to know about her:
1. Harris is a U.S. Senator from California and a former presidential candidate
Kamala Harris was elected as a Democratic U.S. Senator representing California in 2016, after previously serving as the District Attorney of San Francisco and the Attorney General of California, according to her Senate website.
During that time she defended gay marriage, Obamacare and climate change, and during her time in the Senate, she has supported legislation to raise the minimum wage and provide health care to all Americans.
On Jan. 21, 2019, Harris officially announced the launch of her presidential campaign with the slogan “For the people.”
Her planned policies included a Medicare-for-All plan, a plan for action on gun violence, a reproductive rights plan and a climate plan, according to her campaign website.
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) January 21, 2019
However, Harris announced her exit from the race on Dec. 3 of last year, chalking up the end of her campaign to a lack of funding.
To my supporters, it is with deep regret—but also with deep gratitude—that I am suspending my campaign today.
But I want to be clear with you: I will keep fighting every day for what this campaign has been about. Justice for the People. All the people.https://t.co/92Hk7DHHbR
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) December 3, 2019
According to RealClearPolitics, her polling average at the end of her campaign put her in sixth place with only 3.4 percent of the nation’s support.
2. Harris has a history of being anti-Trump
Ever since Harris’ election to the U.S. Senate and President Donald Trump’s election in 2016, Harris has promised to oppose Trump — specifically when it came to immigration policies, according to the Los Angeles Times.
She made good on that promise, passionately criticizing Trump in January 2017 for his executive order to temporarily halt the admission of foreign nationals and refugees from countries that could pose terrorist threats to the U.S.
“Make no mistake — this is a Muslim ban,” Harris wrote on Facebook.
Harris only continued to criticize Trump during his impeachment trial.
Following Harris’ interrogation of Attorney General William Barr regarding the Mueller report, Trump told Fox News on May 1, 2019, that Harris was “probably very nasty” to Barr.
Harris responded the following day on CNN by accusing Trump of trying to “obstruct justice.”
Unsurprisingly, Harris was among those who voted to impeach Trump on Feb. 5, according to Senate records, arguing that Trump ought to be convicted to preserve justice and that the nation’s trust in the federal government was contingent upon that ruling.
“There is no question that President Trump’s misconduct has left a vacuum of leadership in our country, and the American people are looking to the United States Senate to demonstrate that their leaders are worthy of the public’s trust,” she said on the Senate floor, according to a press release.
Despite attempts to find him guilty of abusing his power and obstructing Congress, President Trump was acquitted of the two articles of impeachment after a majority of senators voted “not guilty.”
3. Harris launched multiple efforts against Brett Kavanaugh
Harris has been a consistent opponent of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, most notably during his confirmation hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee in which he addressed accusations of sexual assault leveled against him.
On Sept. 7, 2018, Harris, a Judiciary Committee member, tweeted a deceptively edited video that twisted Kavanaugh’s words to make it sound like he was “going after” birth control in an attempt to “punish” women.
The Washington Post fact-checkers awarded her four “Pinocchios” — the newspaper’s lowest rating for false statements — for leaving out key information.
In a “CBS This Morning” interview, Harris said she believed the claims of Kavanaugh’s accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, and called for further background investigations by the FBI and even impeachment.
Harris voted not to confirm Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination, according to U.S. Senate records. However, the judge was ultimately confirmed in a 50-48 vote in the Senate on Oct. 6, 2018.
Harris argued that Kavanaugh’s confirmation was a “denial of justice for the women of this country” as well as male and female survivors of sexual assault, according to the National Review.
I sat through those hearings. Brett Kavanaugh lied to the U.S. Senate and most importantly to the American people. He was put on the Court through a sham process and his place on the Court is an insult to the pursuit of truth and justice.
He must be impeached.
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) September 15, 2019
Harris said that the lack of evidence against Kavanaugh in regards to the sexual assault allegations didn’t matter.
She told NPR that her calls to impeach Kavanaugh were related to “the facts of the case” and not her campaign for the presidency, though some outlets claim she used her hearing spotlight to boost her campaign.
Though Harris was vehemently opposed to confirming Kavanaugh because of the allegations against him, she expressed her support for former Vice President Joe Biden and his campaign for the presidency even after he was accused of sexual assault by former Senate aide Tara Reade.
4. Harris is considered a top potential VP pick for Biden
Harris does fit the bill Biden proposed to The Washington Post back in August, as she is “of color and/or a different gender” than him.
“Of course I would,” Biden said when asked on Dec. 4 if he would consider Harris as a running mate. “Senator Harris has the capacity to be anything she wants to be. I mean it sincerely.”
“She is solid. She can be president someday herself, She can be the vice president. She can go on to be a Supreme Court justice. She can be attorney general. She has enormous capability.”
New: “I’m not good at keeping hard feelings,” @JoeBiden says about @KamalaHarris‘ debate criticism. He reiterates she could be a potential VP pick for him if nominee, when asked by me & @tylerpager @CBSNews pic.twitter.com/mdQSvk6ICn
— Bo Erickson CBS (@BoKnowsNews) December 4, 2019
Biden’s glowing review came as a bit of a surprise to some, as Harris practically called Biden a racist during a Democratic presidential debate. But Biden informed reporters that he didn’t hold it against her.
“I’m not good at keeping hard feelings,” Biden stated.
Despite her past vendetta against Biden, she endorsed him in March.
Though Harris has expressed interest in the position, she has been considerably less vocal concerning her chances than other potential candidates.
According to her supporters, though, her political qualifications may be all she needs to sway Biden.
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