Surprised that Biden picked ‘disrespectful’ Kamala: Trump
In a major breankthrough for Indian-Americans in US politics, Joe Biden has picked Senator Kamala Devi Harris as his running mate to woo the Black voters and the influential Indian diaspora who could play a key role in his bid to defeat Donald Trump in the presidential election.
Reacting to the nomination of Harris, President Trump said he was “a little surprised that he (Biden) picked her... She was very disrespectful to Joe Biden and it’s hard to pick somebody that’s that disrespectful.”
By naming the 55-year-old lawyer and moderate Democratic politician from California as his vice-presidential candidate in the November 3 election, Biden made history by selecting the first Black woman to compete on a major party’s presidential ticket.
Harris, whose father is from Jamaica and mother an Indian, is currently the Senator from California.
The 77-year-old former vice-president, made the announcement in a text message to his supporters on Tuesday, ending days of suspense. It came about a week ahead of his virtual Democratic National Convention that would formally nominate Biden as the party’s candidate for the presidential election, challenging incumbent President Trump, a Republican.
“Joe Biden here. I’ve chosen Kamala Harris as my running mate. Together, with you, we’re going to beat Trump. Add your name to welcome her to the team,” Biden said in his message.
Biden said Harris will be the best partner for him to finally get the country back on track. He described her as “a fearless fighter” and “one of the country’s finest public servants”.
Harris later tweeted that Biden “can unify the American people because he’s spent his life fighting for us. And as president, he’ll build an America that lives up to our ideals.”
“I’m honoured to join him as our party’s nominee for Vice-President, and do what it takes to make him our Commander-in-Chief.”
Former President Barack Obama, who served in the White House with Biden for two terms, said he has known Harris for a long time. “She is more than prepared for the job. She’s spent her career defending our Constitution and fighting for folks who need a fair shake,” the first Black-American president said.
Biden pledged in March to name a woman as his running mate. He had faced mounting pressure to pick a Black woman as the country was hit by massive social unrest over police brutality against African-Americans, a key voting bloc to the Democrats.
Like Obama, a mixed-race heritage has allowed Harris to connect across identities and reach multiple audiences and voting blocs, US media outlets reported.
Harris, based in California, a massive treasure trove of both Democratic votes and Democratic donors. She also emerged as an outspoken voice on race and the need for police reform following the death of George Floyd in May and the subsequent protests it sparked around the country.
Leading Indian-American groups across the US have lauded the selection of Harris, saying it was a moment of pride and celebration for the entire community in America.
An estimated 1.3 million Indian-Americans are expected to vote in the election in November, including nearly 200,000 in Pennsylvania and 125,000 in Michigan, both must-win battleground states.
Harris is widely viewed as a center-left politician who has faced criticism from the left-wing of the Democratic Party for being insufficiently progressive, analysts said. But they added that her selection has complicated the Trump campaign’s efforts to paint Biden and his vice presidential pick as members of the “radical left.”
If elected, she would be the first ever women to be the vice president of the US and the first ever Indian-American and African-American vice president.
Only two other women have been nominated as vice-presidential candidates —Sarah Palin by the Republicans in 2008 and Geraldine Ferraro by the Democrats in 1984. Neither made it to the White House.
A first term Democratic Senator from California, Harris had launched her presidential campaign in January 2019. After initial few months, her campaign could not take off and by the end of the year, she withdrew from the race.