Vice President Kamala Harris said anti-democratic forces that have emerged in mainstream American politics, weakening the nation at home and undermining our legitimacy overseas, joined President Joe Biden in calling it a major threat.
Asked in an interview Sunday on NBC News’ “Meet The Press” whether threats from within the U.S. pose a risk equal to or greater than the one the nation faced 21 years ago on 9/11, Harris said under the oath she took as a prosecutor, attorney general, senator, and vice president to defend the Constitution “against all enemies, foreign and domestic—and we do not compare the two.”
“It’s very dangerous and I think very harmful. And it weakens us,” Harris said.
She singled out elected leaders — including those now running to oversee elections in some states — who continue to question the integrity of the vote and others who have refused to condemn the Jan. 6 uprising.
“I think what it’s sending is a signal that’s causing people to ask, ‘Hey, does America still value what it’s talking about?'” she said. “I think in the course of what we’ve been through, we’re starting to allow people to question our commitment to those principles. And that’s a shame.”
Now, less than 60 days before the midterm elections, both Biden and Harris are touting the administration’s suddenly strengthened record, highlighting what they see as threats to liberties like voting rights and abortion rights, with Harris in the interview to blast what she called the “activist” court that overturned Roe v. Wade.
Chief Justice John Roberts responded to those questioning the court’s legitimacy in a speech at a judicial conference Friday, Colorado Springs reported. Official paper news. “The court has always decided controversial cases and the decisions have always been the subject of intense criticism, and that’s entirely appropriate,” Roberts said. reporting. “But I don’t understand the connection between opinions that people disagree with and the legitimacy of the Supreme Court.”
But both Biden and Harris also worked to create a stark contrast to what they described as fringe yet powerful forces within the GOP that threaten the very character of the nation.
Harris defended Biden’s harsh language about what he called extremist “MAGA” Republicans, including calling them “semi-fascist.”
“Joe Biden has spent his entire career … working across the aisle, his entire career. He’s been criticized at times for believing in bipartisanship, for believing in compromise, for believing in working across the aisle, for finding common ground,” she said.
“But there are times when we also have to agree, all the good people who care about our country, that there are those who are not actively defending our democracy right now,” Harris added. “And I think we want our commander-in-chief, the president of the United States, to speak up and raise the alarm about what this means for our strength and our future, let alone our integrity.”
Despite these warnings, some Democratic candidates and campaign committees have worked tactically to support pro-choice and more right-wing candidates in key races with the hope of boosting Democratic candidates’ chances. Harris dodged questions about whether it was a tactic at odds with their own rhetoric about what’s at stake this November.
“I’m not going to tell people how to run their campaigns,” Harris said. “I know it’s best to let the candidate, along with their advisers, make a decision based on what they believe is in the best interest of their state. I’m not going to tell people what to do like that.” “
In remarks to the Democratic National Committee on Saturday, Harris again talked about how much more Democrats could accomplish in the coming years with just two more votes in the Senate. “I can’t wait to cast the deciding vote to break the filibuster on voting rights and reproductive rights,” she said.
But when asked in an interview whether Democrats would go further and abolish the filibuster altogether, she said it was “very likely” it would be kept in place on other issues, and said she was uncomfortable with the idea of the filibuster cutting out those specific the questions would extend to all legislation.
Harris’ appearance on “Meet The Press” was her most extensive national interview in months and comes as she and her top aides in her office and the West Wing work to support your role in administration.
Biden’s decision early in the administration to task Harris with addressing the causes of migration from Central and South America, which has led to a surge at the U.S.-Mexico border, appeared to underscore the challenges of her office.
During the interview, conducted while Harris was in Houston, Texas, to visit the Johnson Space Center, Harris said the border was secure but acknowledged that “there are still a lot of issues that we’re trying to resolve given the deterioration that’s happened over the last period. four years.”
“We also need to put in place a law and a plan for a path to citizenship for the millions of people who are here and are ready to do what is required by law to get citizenship. We don’t have that in place because people are playing politics in a state like this and in Congress,” she said .
Harris said she has spoken with most of her predecessors, including Mike Pence and Al Gore, about the challenges of this unique office.
“I think there’s no question that the role and responsibility of the vice president is very important. And Joe Biden knows that more than anybody,” she said. “It’s working with the president, doing what I can to be a great partner, to take on and help take on some of the biggest issues that affect our country, both domestically and in foreign policy. That’s the job that I do.”
Just this week, when Biden hosted the unveiling of his official portrait, he emphasized the relationship he and Barack Obama have developed during their eight years of working together.
Harris said she and Biden have also formed a close partnership.
“We talk a lot about family. We talk about our hopes, we talk about our dreams, we talk about the things that worry us, that worry us, that excite us about everything we do. It’s a real friendship. We have a real friendship and I appreciate that, she said.
Harris said she would “proudly” run again with Biden if he runs for a second term, and reiterated that Biden himself “has been very clear that he intends to run again.”