Trump ‘surprised’ Biden picked ‘horrible’ Harris for VP: Obama: Ideal partner
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Trump ‘surprised’ Biden picked ‘horrible’ Harris for VP: Obama: Ideal partner

President says California senator was ‘very disrespectful’ to Biden during the Democratic primaries, and claims she is too far left; Clinton, Sanders other Dems hail choice

US President Donald Trump speaks at a news conference in the James Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House, August 11, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
US President Donald Trump speaks at a news conference in the James Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House, August 11, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

WASHINGTON — US President Donald Trump said Tuesday he’s “a little surprised” that his Democratic rival, Joe Biden, has selected Kamala Harris as his running mate, calling her the “most horrible” member of the US Senate.

Trump told reporters at a White House briefing that Harris “was very disrespectful to Joe Biden” during the Democratic primaries, and said “it’s hard to pick somebody that’s that disrespectful.”

One of Harris’ standout moments of her presidential campaign came at the expense of Biden. During a debate, Harris said Biden made “very hurtful” comments about his past work with segregationist senators and slammed his opposition to busing as schools began to integrate in the 1970s.

“There was a little girl in California who was a part of the second class to integrate her public schools, and she was bused to school every day,” she said. “And that little girl was me.”

Shaken by the attack, Biden called her comments “a mischaracterization of my position.”

Trump also noted that Harris ”did very poorly” when she ran for the nomination — she dropped out in December — and said, “That’s like a poll.”

Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris of California formally launches her presidential campaign at a rally in her hometown of Oakland, California, Sunday, January 27, 2019. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

The early promise of her campaign eventually faded. Her law enforcement background prompted skepticism from some progressives, and she struggled to land on a consistent message that resonated with voters. Facing fundraising problems, Harris abruptly withdrew from the race in December 2019, two months before the first votes of the primary were cast.

Trump was trying to paint Harris as too far left, saying she wants to raise taxes, slash funds for the militarily and ban fracking.

He also said that during the bruising 2018 Senate confirmation hearings of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, Harris was “the meanest, the most horrible, the most disrespectful of anybody in the US Senate.”

Trump said, “She was my No. 1 draft pick and we’ll see how she works out,” indicating he would want to run against a ticket with her on it.

Biden’s campaign announced his decision to pick Harris as his running mate earlier Tuesday.

Vice President Mike Pence also spoke out against the pick, saying Biden and Harris would set the US on a path of “socialism and decline.”

Speaking in Arizona, the Republican used the opportunity to attack the Biden-Harris ticket. “As you all know, Joe Biden and the Democratic Party have been overtaken by the radical left,” Pence said. “So given their promises of higher taxes, open borders, socialized medicine and abortion on demand, it’s no surprise that he chose Senator Harris.”

Pence plugged the Oct. 7 vice presidential debate, scheduled to take place in Utah. “So my message to the Democratic nominee for vice president: Congratulations. I’ll see you in Salt Lake City!”

An ideal partner

The pick, however, was widely praised by Democrats.

Former president Barack Obama said that Biden had “nailed this decision” in a lengthy statement.

“Now Joe has an ideal partner to help him tackle the very real challenges America faces right now and in the years ahead,” Obama said, calling Harris “more than prepared for the job.”

He highlighted her personal and professional background, saying: “She’s spent her career defending our Constitution and fighting for folks who need a fair shake.”

Vermont senator Bernie Sanders, who ran against Harris and Biden for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, congratulated his former opponent.

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., left, and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., clasp hands during a Democratic presidential primary debate hosted by CNN/New York Times at Otterbein University, Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2019, in Westerville, Ohio. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

“She understands what it takes to stand up for working people, fight for health care for all, and take down the most corrupt administration in history,” he tweeted.

“Let’s get to work and win.”

Former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton said she was “thrilled to welcome @KamalaHarris to a historic Democratic ticket.”

“She’s already proven herself to be an incredible public servant and leader. And I know she’ll be a strong partner to @JoeBiden,” Clinton tweeted.

Celebrities also hailed the pick.

NBA star LeBron James also could not contain his excitement, tweeting a series of clapping emojis.

“Love to see and support it!” the Los Angeles Lakers forward said.

“Was there ever more of an exciting day?” asked Indian-American actress Mindy Kaling on Twitter.

“For our entire country of course, but especially for my Black and Indian sisters, many of us who have gone our entire lives thinking that someone who looks like us may never hold high office?” she wrote, pointing to Harris’s mixed Black and South Asian heritage.

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