Democratic Rep. Elusive On Kamala Harris As Biden’s Running Mate

In a recent interview on CNN’s “The Lead,” Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) shared his thoughts on Vice President Kamala Harris’s potential candidacy as President Joe Biden’s running mate for the 2024 election. While he highlighted what he believes are the strengths of the Biden-Harris ticket, he failed to express solid confidence in the vice president.

When asked if Harris is “the best running mate for President Biden?” he began by emphasizing the importance of President Biden’s choice, stating, “Well, obviously, she gave the right answer, that’s President Biden’s choice, and I think she’s an excellent running mate for President Biden. You know, I don’t know what more needs to be said about that.” 

He continued to highlight the achievements of the current administration, such as the “$1.2 trillion investment in the Infrastructure Act” and “record investments in climate action, “along with efforts to reduce prescription drug prices. Raskin urged a focus on policy over personalities, emphasizing the importance of the issues.

However, anchor Jake Tapper pressed on, seeking a more direct response. “No one’s making it about personalities. It’s just a simple question. Do you think Kamala Harris is the best running mate for President Biden? Yes or no?” he quizzed.

Raskin, still cautious in his response, maintained, “I don’t know what else I could say.” 

Tapper suggested a straightforward answer, saying, “You could say yes.”

The Maryland lawmaker then attempted to escape the question by highlighting the upcoming party convention and the formal selection process. “I don’t know whether President Biden has named his running mate. We’re going to a convention next summer. You know, it’s a year away from now, and we’re going to go through that process,” he said.

In a final attempt to get a definitive answer from Raskin, Tapper pointed him to a more direct response, saying, “You could say yes. You could say, ‘Yes, I think Kamala Harris is the best vice president and the best running mate for President Biden.’ That’s the answer you could be giving right now. Yes, she is.”

However, Raskin maintained the non-direct course and instead responded by acknowledging the absence of public opinion polling and highlighting the excellence of Harris in the realm of public policy.

“So I’ve not seen any public opinion polling,” he began. “You know, as you might be a stronger vice-presidential running mate than her or me or anybody else. I don’t know who else if you’re talking about the polling, but I would tell you, as a matter of substance in public policy, she’d be an excellent choice. She and the president have done an excellent job.”

While Raskin failed to expressly back Harris, former Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) showed more support for the vice president’s reelection efforts on Wednesday as she expressed frustration with the lack of confidence in her 2024 candidacy alongside President Joe Biden. 

“Why is America down on her to the extent they are? Because she’s done nothing to deserve this,” she asserted, adding, “I mean, this is a woman of great accomplishment… Why is this Kamala Harris a problem instead of an asset?”