Flashback: Kamala Harris Tells Stephen Colbert ‘It Was a Debate!’ When Asked About Swipes Against Biden
In spite of media protestations to the contrary, now is the perfect time to talk about whether Sen. Kamala Harris’ stances are just meaningless words uttered in order to get ahead. If not now, when?
In the weeks prior to Joe Biden announcing Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) as his running mate, conservatives brought up the fact that Harris stated last year that she believed the Democratic women who went public and accused Biden of inappropriate touching and hair-sniffing.
There was also the important matter of what Harris said about Biden to his face during the June 2019 Democratic presidential debate over comments he’d made at the time on working with segregationist senators in the 70s and his past opinions on forced busing.
When the issue came up at the debate, Harris blasted him in what turned out to be one of only a few high points of her time in the spotlight on any of the debate stages:
I’m going to now direct this at Vice President Biden. I do not believe you are a racist, and I agree with you when you commit yourself to the importance of finding common ground. But I also believe—and it’s personal. I was actually very—it was hurtful to hear you talk about the reputations of two United States senators who built their reputations and career on the segregation of race in this country. And it was not only that, but you also worked with them to oppose busing. And, you know, there was a little girl in California who was part of the second class to integrate her public schools, and she was bussed to school every day. And that little girl was me.
The “I do not believe you are a racist” line was a classic political tactic used by candidates for higher office to make themselves appear conciliatory right before painting their opposition as the worst person in the world. Harris claimed his comments were “personal” and “hurtful” and she treated them as such in her dramatic attack.
Here’s a flashback to their back and forth exchange, where she was perceived to have gotten the better of Biden:
WATCH: In one of the most heated moments of the Democratic debates yet, Kamala Harris confronted Joe Biden for working with segregationist senators and his record on busing. #DemDebate2 #DemocraticDebate2 https://t.co/sJsMyihIbs pic.twitter.com/3gkfAFIZJm
— The Hill (@thehill) June 28, 2019
Fast forward to when Biden was the only one left standing, and when the vice-presidential search started. Sen. Harris was floated as a leading contender for the spot. Conservatives wondered how she would square her past comments about Biden if he picked her as his running mate
As it turns out, Harris gave everyone a big clue as to how she would address that issue in an interview she did with Stephen Colbert a couple of months ago. The interview did not get a ton of attention at the time, but it’s resurfaced in light of the fact that she’s now the Democratic vice-presidential candidate.
After confirming she’d like to be on the ticket alongside Biden, Colbert asked her about her June 2019 debate comments and wondered “how do you go from being such a passionate opponent on such bedrock principles for you, and now you guys seem to be pals?”:
In an interview with Harris last Wednesday, Stephen Colbert said he believed that she is sincerely behind Biden. She might be a good running mate, he said, but how would she get there after all the “haymakers” she landed onstage?
“It was a debate,” Harris said.
“Not everyone landed punches like you did, though,” Colbert said.
“It was a debate,” Harris said, deploying the laugh she often uses to deflect during television interviews.
“So you don’t mean it?”
“It was a debate,” she said again.
Watch the exchange below:
That makes no sense whatsoever. She either meant her comments or she didn’t:
She seems to believe that by repeating the word “debate” over and over, it negates everything she attacked Biden about.
So was she lying then, or is she lying now?
Can’t have it both ways, Kamala. Either you stand for the principles you claimed in the debate, or you don’t. pic.twitter.com/ewWuKPBa6d
— Not Rian’s Luke ? (@_LukeCSkywalker) August 15, 2020
Sounds like what she’s saying is that her ripping him to shreds in that first debate was just words, meaningless. Like her claiming she believed Biden’s accusers last year but seemingly forgetting that this year, this is another example of Harris being willing to say anything if it sounds good enough to get her ahead politically.
Which brings me to what former Sen. Carol Moseley Braun (IL), a longtime supporter of Biden’s, said right after that June debate where Harris had what political observers called her “breakout moment” against Biden (bolded emphasis added):
“We can be proud of her nonetheless, but her ambition got it wrong about Joe,” said former Illinois Sen. Carol Moseley Braun, the first African American woman to serve in the Senate who has endorsed Biden in the 2020 primary. “He is about the best there is; for her to take that tack is sad.”
“Her ambition got it wrong about Joe” is about as close as any Democrat will get to saying Harris deliberately stages attacks on allies in order to get ahead. Braun was right. Harris had planned the attack on him for months due to a desire to move into the top tier.
There’s nothing wrong with political ambition per se, but there is something wrong when a person is willing to throw someone they used to treat as a staunch ally under the bus in order to get ahead in politics. Even worse than that, there’s definitely something wrong when a candidate is willing to throw their supposed principles out with the bathwater in order to advance their political career.
Unfortunately, this happens all too often in politics. In Kamala Harris’ case, she’s been able to get away with it for so long because she’s a woman, and if you listen to the mainstream media, we’re not supposed to talk about the ambitions of women running for higher office and what they’ll say and do in order to get ahead. Why? Because supposedly it’s sexist or something.
It’s a ridiculous claim, though, considering they often report on the political ambitions of men running for higher office – and on their ambitions once they get there. If we can talk about men’s ambitions, we can most certainly talk about women’s ambitions.
Especially in this case. I mean, Harris will be second in command if she and Biden win in November. And speculation is running high that Biden will step down at some point before his presidential term is up and hand over the reins to her.
So yes, now is the perfect time to talk about this woman’s ambitions, where she stands on the issues, and if her stances are just meaningless words uttered in order to get ahead. If not now, when?
— Stacey Matthews has also written under the pseudonym “Sister Toldjah” and can be reached via Twitter. —DONATE
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