Biden holds his first campaign event since he announced Sen. Kamala Harris as his running mate. Ava DeSantis writes what we learned about the Biden-Harris ticket from both speeches.
Biden opened the event, reflecting on his VP choice. “Yesterday, we had our best grassroots fundraising day of the campaign,” he recounted, “more than double our previous record. And, in doing so, we set a single day record for online political fundraising. I think I know why.”
Biden is the presumptive Democratic nominee. In the first four hours after Biden announced Harris as his running mate, the main Democratic fundraising platform, ActBlue, reported $10.8 million in donations. National political reporter for the New York Times, Shane Goldmacher tweeted that yesterday was, by his calculations, the fifth highest fundraising day in the history of ActBlue. Biden attributed this influx of support to the possibility of Harris being the first Black and South Asian American woman ever serving as the Vice President of the U.S.
“This morning, all across the nation, little girls woke up, especially little Black and Brown girls, who so often feel overlooked and undervalued in their communities,” he said. “But today, today just maybe they’re seeing themselves for the first time in a new way: as the stuff of Presidents, and Vice Presidents.”
At a press conference yesterday, President Trump commented “well, I like Vice President Mike Pence much better.” Harris treated Justice Kavanaugh horribly, according to the President. “She was the meanest, the most horrible, most disrespectful of anybody in the U.S. Senate.”
Biden responded to Trump’s comments, asking “is anyone surprised that Donald Trump has a problem with a strong woman, or strong women across the board?” Harris, Biden said, “has your back” if you are under attack within the administration.
Harris took the stage outlining the ticket’s primary goals, alongside criticism of the failures of the Trump administration. Most notably, Harris implied that President Trump is responsible for the “165,000 lives that have been cut short” due to the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S., contrasting this number with the 2 Americans who died from the Ebola pandemic under the Obama-Biden administration.
“But let’s be clear, this election isn’t just about defeating Donald Trump or Mike Pence,” she said. “It’s about building this country back, better. And that’s exactly what Joe and I will do.”
“We’ll create millions of jobs and fight climate change through a clean energy revolution, bring back critical supply chains, so the future is made in America, build on the Affordable Care Act, so everyone has a peace of mind that comes with health insurance, and, finally, offer caregivers the dignity, the respect, and the pay they deserve,” Harris promised.
“We’ll protect a woman’s right to make her own decisions about her own body, root our systemic racism in our justice system, and pass a new voting rights act. A John Lewis Voting Rights Act, that will ensure every voice is heard, and every voice is counted.”
Harris’ campaign platform as Biden’s rival in the primary election was slightly left of Biden’s, although she was unclear about her stance on many key issues. Harris committed to eliminating private prisons, lessening harsh prison sentences, ending mandatory minimum sentencing, and a ban on evictions and foreclosures during the pandemic. She moved back-and-forth on the issue of Medicare for All, during her campaign. Notably, Harris signed onto Sen. Bernie Sanders’ Medicare for All plan, before endorsing a more moderate public option plan in the middle of the campaign season.
It is unclear whether Harris’ campaign platform will influence the Biden campaign. It is clear, however, that Harris and Biden identified similar issues which would define their administration: racial justice, healthcare, climate change, and women’s rights.
Harris called for voters to come out on November 3rd as a mandate “that proves that the past few years do not represent who we are or who we aspire to be,” that the Biden-Harris ticket, instead, is what Americans aspire to be.