The senator from California and former state attorney general had also made a run at the Democratic presidential nomination. It is only the fourth time a woman has been on a major-party presidential ticket, and Harris, the daughter of Indian and Jamaican immigrants, is the first Black and Asian American woman chosen.
The two are scheduled to appear together Wednesday in Wilmington, Del.
Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar, who represents a blue Minneapolis-area district, beat attorney Antone Melton-Meaux in one of the most expensive House primaries of the year. With the win, the “Squad” of liberal, minority women first elected in 2018 is 4-for-4 in the primaries this year.
Melton-Meaux raised a staggering $3.2 million last quarter, with each candidate bringing in a total of more than $4 million.
Melton-Meaux sought to cast Omar as a divisive figure, playing up controversial comments she made about Jews that many viewed as anti-Semitic. But Omar, who has apologized for those remarks, touted the support of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) in helping to guide her across the finish line.
Marjorie Taylor Greene on Tuesday won the runoff in the Republican primary in Georgia’s 14th District, a safe Republican seat now held by Rep. Tom Graves, all but ensuring she will join Congress. Republican leaders had distanced themselves from Greene after videos surfaced of her making racist, anti-Semitic and Islamophobic comments.
Greene, who runs a construction company, has endorsed the QAnon conspiracy theory, which includes the idea that Trump is a messianic figure fighting the so-called deep state and that he alone can be trusted.
In one of the videos, first reported on by Politico in June, Greene suggested that Black people “are held slaves to the Democratic Party.” She also called liberal investor George Soros a Nazi and filmed a campaign ad depicting her cocking a semiautomatic rifle while warning “antifa,” a loose collection of far-left activists who oppose fascism and have sometimes embraced property damage and violent protest in recent years, to “stay the hell out of northwest Georgia.” Facebook removed the ad from its website.
In a June primary, Greene was the top vote-winner, taking 41 percent of the vote compared with neurosurgeon John Cowan’s 20 percent. The two faced off again Tuesday in a district Trump carried by 75 points. Both framed themselves as strong supporters of the president.
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Harris has clashed with Trump on handling of pandemic in minority communities
Before being named as Biden’s running mate, Harris had pushed back against the president’s approach to the coronavirus pandemic, arguing that Black and minority Americans have not been prioritized by the Trump administration’s public health response.
“People across the country are begging the president and his Republican boosters in Congress to approach these crises with the seriousness they deserve, recognize their missteps and work on behalf of the people who sent them to Washington,” Harris wrote in an opinion piece editorial in USA Today in late July. “If they can’t, it’s time for them to move aside and let real leaders lead.”
The coronavirus has disproportionately impacted communities of color: Although Black Americans make up about 13 percent of the U.S. population, they represent 23 percent of coronavirus-related deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In June, Robert Redfield, the CDC director, apologized for a lack of more complete racial data the lack of documentation and pledged in congressional testimony that subsequent reports would contain coronavirus data based on race.
Redfield’s remarks came after Harris introduced legislation, the Covid-19 Racial and Ethnic Disparities Task Force Act, in April to address racial disparities that have emerged in coronavirus infections and deaths, and to create a Department of Health and Human Services task force to redirect crucial resources to vulnerable, virus-stricken communities.
“This weekend we surpassed 5 million coronavirus cases in the United States,” Harris tweeted the day before Biden’s news that she would join his ticket. “And there is still no adequate national testing strategy. Trump and his administration have failed Americans.”
The Democratic presidential primary came to an end on Tuesday night in Connecticut, just hours after Biden announced Harris as his running mate.
Shortly after polls closed, the Associated Press called the race for Biden, who was on the path to win all or nearly all of the state’s 60 pledged delegates; in a very early count, Bernie Sanders was below the 15 percent delegate threshold.
Trump has also won the state’s Republican presidential primary, in which he was running largely unopposed.
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What would happen to Harris’s Senate seat if she and Biden won?
Harris’s selection just set off what will be a months-long, mostly behind-the-scenes movement by Democrats to try win Gov. Gavin Newsom’s approval to be Harris’s replacement in the Senate.
Should the Biden-Harris ticket win in November, Harris would have to resign from the Senate before the Jan. 20 inauguration of the new president and vice president. Newsom (D) is empowered to appoint replacements, and the interim senator would not have to face the voters until 2022, giving the person a chance to lock up support among fellow Democrats and run as an incumbent.
Up for reelection himself in 2022, Newsom probably will aim to appoint someone with whom he wants to share a ballot. He has many from whom to choose: The Golden State has 45 Democrats in its congressional delegation. The state’s attorney general, Xavier Becerra, served 24 years in the U.S. House before returning to California as top prosecutor in 2017.
Some will look to Rep. Adam B. Schiff after his run as the lead impeachment manager of President Trump, but his profile already eclipses that of most senators, and Schiff would have to return to life as a low-level freshman in the Senate. The state’s progressive wing may push for Rep. Katie Porter, a staunch liberal who has become a fundraising star among online activists after flipping an Orange County seat in 2018.
Southern California Democrats will make a concerted push to finally claim some of the spoils of victory in a state where the Bay Area has served as the dominant geographic launchpad — Harris, like Democratic Sens. Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein, began her political career in the northern part of the state. As governor, Newsom, a former mayor of San Francisco, succeeded Jerry Brown, who used a stint as Oakland mayor to relaunch his political career.
California has never had a Latino senator, so Newsom could also make history and nod to the state’s heavy ranks of Latino voters with his pick.
Whoever the choice is, should Biden and Harris win, the first test for the appointed senator would come in California’s “jungle primary” in late spring 2022, in which all candidates from all parties are thrown onto the same ballot and the top two face off in November. Republicans failed in both 2016, when Harris won her Senate seat, and in 2018, when Feinstein won her fifth full term, to get a candidate onto the general election ballot.
Biden and Harris will appear together for the first time as running mates on Wednesday afternoon in Wilmington, Del., the Biden campaign announced shortly after Harris was named his vice-presidential pick.
Their joint remarks will focus on “working together to restore the soul of the nation and fight for working families to move the country forward," according to the campaign.
They will also attend a “virtual grassroots” fundraiser in the evening, the campaign said.
The campaign did not provide more information on timing or location.
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Trump campaign argues that donations to Harris mean he’s not racist
Trump’s campaign sought to turn the president’s history of donating to Harris’s previous campaigns into a political asset, suggesting that his status as a donor to a Black politician should shield him from charges of racism.
“The president as a private businessman donated to candidates across all aisles,” Trump campaign senior adviser Katrina Pierson told reporters on a call Tuesday. “And I will note that Kamala Harris is a Black woman, and he donated to her campaign, so I hope we can squash this racism argument now.”
Trump donated $6,000 in 2011 and 2013 to Harris’s campaigns for California attorney general. His daughter and senior adviser Ivanka Trump donated $2,000 in 2014.
Pierson’s comment came at the end of a call with reporters with the aim of raising questions about Harris’s appeal to women. Pierson and Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) both painted Harris as an extreme leftist whose policies on health care and the environment would harm women.
But in a sign that the campaign is still figuring out how to hone its message against Harris, Blackburn pointed to the former prosecutor’s record to indicate that she wasn’t sufficiently “tough on hardened criminals,” while Pierson argued that Harris had perhaps been too aggressive. “She fought to keep inmates locked up in overcrowded prisons so they can be used for cheap labor,” Pierson said, adding that she believed Harris had an “egregious record” as a prosecutor.
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Palin’s advice to Harris: ‘YOU were chosen for who YOU are,’ so ‘ignore deceptive handlers trying to change you’
Sarah Palin — the 2008 Republican vice-presidential nominee — has some advice for Harris.
“Climb upon Geraldine Ferraro’s and my shoulders, and from the most amazing view in your life consider lessons we learned,” Palin wrote in a lengthy post on Instagram Tuesday under a photo of her and Ferraro, the 1984 Democratic vice-presidential nominee.
Palin encouraged Harris to “trust no one new” and to “fight mightily to keep your own team with you — they know you, know your voice, and most importantly are trustworthy.”
“Don’t get muzzled,” Palin continued, suggesting that Harris find ways to connect with the media and voters in her own way. “Some yahoos running campaigns will suffocate you with their own self-centered agenda so remember YOU were chosen for who YOU are. So stay connected with America as you smile and ignore deceptive ‘handlers’ trying to change you.”
Palin reflected on the spectacle of running for vice president, like having a trip to the store to buy running shoes turned into a campaign stop complete with “media detailing my every move trying on shoes.” Her favorite thing to do was meet voters at events.
“The ropeline is often the only way to literally touch those whom you wish to serve, so be sincere in looking in their eyes, understanding why they’re there, never forgetting they represent the innumerable Americans putting their trust in you to serve for the right reasons," she wrote.
Palin told Harris not to “forget the women who came before you” and to have fun.
“This IS the greatest country in the world and hopefully you’ll be blessed beyond belief, like I was, with meeting new people from all walks of life and see just how great it is!” she wrote.
As she was preparing in January 2019 to make her presidential run, Harris appeared on ABC’s “The View,” where co-host Whoopi Goldberg asked her, “Before we do anything, would you pronounce your name for me, please?”
Harris was promoting her memoir, “The Truths We Hold,” which had a few paragraphs on just this question.
“It’s Kamala,” Harris said. “Just think like ‘comma,’ and add a ‘la.’ ”
Co-host Joy Behar suggested the name was like Pamela, “like we’re used to.” Not quite, Harris corrected her.
The name Kamala means “lotus,” a prominent symbol in Asian cultures, she said.
“The symbolism is that the lotus flower sits on water but never really gets wet,” Harris told the hosts of “The View.” “Its roots are in the mud, meaning it is grounded. One must always know where they come from.”
As Trump commented on Biden’s pick Tuesday night, he repeatedly mispronounced her name.
Trump takes questions on Harris, focuses on her ‘nasty’ treatment of Kavanaugh
Trump, who twice donated to Harris before becoming president and who two weeks ago said she’d be a “fine choice” as vice president, rattled off some talking-point attacks against her during a White House coronavirus briefing.
Asked about Biden’s announcement, Trump said that Harris was his “number one pick” but also that he was surprised Biden chose her.
He commented on how “nasty” she was to Supreme Court Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh during his Senate confirmation hearing.
“She was nasty to a level that was just a horrible thing, the way she was, the way she treated now-Justice Kavanaugh,” Trump said. “And I won’t forget that soon.”
Asked whether he believed Harris would help Biden in November, Trump again brought up Kavanaugh.
“Well, I like Vice President Mike Pence much better, he is solid as a rock,” Trump said. “I will take him over Kamala and the horrible way she again treated Justice Kavanaugh. That was a horrible event. I thought it was terrible for her. I thought it was terrible for our nation. I thought she was the meanest, the most horrible, the most disrespectful of anybody in the U.S. Senate.”
Pence: 'It’s no surprise’ Biden picked Harris as his running mate
As Vice President Pence formally welcomed Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.) to the presidential race during a campaign event in Arizona on Tuesday evening, members of his audience loudly booed.
“On the way here, I heard Joe Biden just named his running mate — California Senator Kamala Harris. So let me take this opportunity to welcome her to the race,” Pence said with a heavy dose of sarcasm in his voice as some in the audience booed. “As you all know, Joe Biden and the Democratic Party have been overtaken by the radical left. 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 noted that he and Harris will debate Oct. 7 in Utah.
“So my message to the Democratic nominee for vice president: Congratulations. I’ll see you in Salt Lake City,” Pence said.
Trump donated to Harris’s campaign for California attorney general
President Trump donated to Kamala D. Harris’s campaign for California attorney general as recently as 2013, sending $6,000 her way in 2011 and 2013. His daughter Ivanka Trump also contributed $2,000 to Harris in 2014.
That could make it significantly more difficult to attack Harris — the idea that this was someone Trump saw fit to support financially, as recently as two years before he launched his 2016 campaign.
That doesn’t mean he won’t find something — or a lot of things — to attack. Trump criticized her during a 5:30 p.m. news briefing Tuesday for how she treated Supreme Court Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh during his confirmation hearing. The Trump campaign issued a statement on Harris shortly after her selection Tuesday, alleging that she had called Biden a racist (she had not) and that she would be a conduit for extremist liberal policies in a Biden administration.
Former president Barack Obama, who chose Biden to be his running mate 12 years ago, celebrated the Harris choice, calling her the “ideal partner” for Biden.
“Joe Biden nailed this decision,” Obama said in a statement. “By choosing Senator Kamala Harris as America’s next vice president, he’s underscored his own judgment and character. Reality shows us that these attributes are not optional in a president. They’re requirements of the job. And now Joe has an ideal partner to help him tackle the very real challenges America faces right now and in the years ahead.”
Shirley Chisholm, the first black congresswoman, paved the way for Harris
On Jan. 25, 1972, Rep. Shirley Chisholm of New York stood on a platform in a Baptist church in her congressional district in Brooklyn. Behind a dozen microphones, she waved to the crowd and took a leap into history as she declared her bid for the Democratic nomination for presidency of the United States of America.
“I am not the candidate for Black America, although I am Black and proud. I am not the candidate of the women’s movement of this country, although I am a woman and I’m equally proud of that. I am not the candidate of any political bosses or fat cats or special interests,” Chisholm said in a clipped voice.
“I am the candidate of the people of America,” Chisholm said.
During her bid for the Democratic presidential nomination, Harris promoted the logo, “For the People,” which her campaign said was an acknowledgment of Chisholm’s campaign.
In a February 2019 interview with the Grio, Harris said Chisholm was extraordinary, powerful and courageous. “She reminds me of the many sayings of my mother and that is, ‘Don’t let anybody tell you who you are. You tell them who you are.’ That was Shirley Chisholm, unbought and unbossed. I stand as so many of us do on her shoulders.”