Democratic California Sen. Kamala Harris has raised her profile in the wake of the Democratic debates in Miami, where she launched a vicious personal attack on former Vice President Joe Biden, implying he was a bigot and racist who supported segregation.
Having vaulted herself to the front of the field, Harris shifted her attention toward President Donald Trump during a campaign event in West Des Moines, Iowa, on Independence Day and attacked the president in much the same way she went after Biden.
The Hill reported that Harris likened Trump to a “predator” no different from the ones she faced as a prosecutor in California and accused him of preying on the “vulnerable” while vowing to not only defeat him in 2020 but to prosecute him for his alleged and unproven “crimes.”
ABC News posted a portion of Harris’ speech on Twitter, and while the clip started off pleasantly enough with the candidate speaking a little about her background and perspective, it didn’t take long before she began to take shots at the president.
HAPPENING NOW: Sen. Kamala Harris attends West Des Moines Democrats’ 4th of July picnic. https://t.co/d8UbRkBi6m
— ABC News (@ABC) July 3, 2019
Harris could barely bring herself to mention the president’s name, repeatedly referring to him as the “current occupant” of the White House or “Individual Number 1” — a riff on a reference to Trump in the Mueller investigation’s indictment against former Trump attorney Michael Cohen. Both names were no doubt subtle attempts to undermine Trump’s legitimacy as the duly-elected president of the United States.
The senator claimed that Trump had “betrayed” the American people and failed to make good on his promises while ranting about his policies on trade, tariffs, health care and immigration enforcement — which she referred to as “human rights abuses” — and declaring that she was “prepared to prosecute the case” against the president.
“I know predators, and we have a predator living in the White House,” Harris said. “And let me tell you, there’s a little secret about predators. Donald Trump has a predatory nature and predatory instincts.”
“And the thing about predators that you should know is that they prey on the vulnerable. They prey on those who they do not believe are strong,” she continued. “And the thing about predators you must importantly know: Predators are cowards.”
The Hill noted that Harris had used a similar line about Trump being a “predator” who needed to be prosecuted during an event in South Carolina with the NAACP in June, suggesting that this particular angle of attack against the president will be a repeated line for the Harris campaign.
As personal as it is for Harris to denigrate the president as a “predator” and “coward” who will “prey on the vulnerable,” her line of attack also reeks of desperation.
Aside from the recent boost in the polls Harris received after her attacks on Biden at the debate — which no doubt informed her decision to increase attacks on Trump — the senator’s campaign has for the past couple of months struggled to gain a solid footing among the roughly two-dozen Democratic candidates.
A recent Ipsos/Reuters poll showed Harris had improved by 4 percent since late May, jumping from 6 percent to 10 percent support. Likewise, an ABC News/Washington Post poll showed that Harris had jumped up to 11 percent after sitting at 4 percent in April.
Those substantial gains still leave her trailing front-runner Joe Biden. While the RealClearPolitics average of polls shows Harris improving from 7 percent support in June to 15 percent now, she’s still more than 10 points behind Biden.
Harris has come across more angry than charismatic, she’s flip-flopped on issues several times and her “new ideas” are costly and outmoded.
She has resorted to lashing out at her opponents with sharp rhetoric, which may play well with the angry leftist base, but will likely turn off voters in the middle who are vital to her chances at electoral victory.
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