Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) on Thursday repeatedly dodged Jake Tapper’s question about whether Vice President Kamala Harris was the best candidate to face President Joe Biden in 2024. (Watch the video below.)
The lawmakers’ verbal dance followed another prominent Democrat, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (Calif.), give a non-binding answer on Harris.
Tapper asked the question directly on CNN’s “The Lead”: “Do you think Vice President Kamala Harris is the best candidate for President Biden?”
And the evasive maneuver began. Raskin turned to the “propaganda flood” of the MAGA right.
Tapper accused Raskin of using Pelosi’s strategy of “not answering the question.” (The former speaker praised Harris but didn’t directly state that she was the best choice.) Tapper asked the same question again. Raskin said Harris was “an excellent candidate to run for President Biden” but failed to secure his own endorsement. He praised the president and Harris’ performance and said he didn’t want to make the issue “about personalities.”
“Nobody is about personalities. I mean, it’s just a simple question,” the moderator said. “Do you think Kamala Harris is the best candidate for President Biden? They said she was excellent. That’s further than Speaker Pelosi has gone, but do you think she’s the – I’m not trying to stir up any uproar. I actually think it’s a pretty simple question. Do you think Kamala Harris is the best candidate for President Biden, yes or no?”
“I mean, I don’t know what else I can say,” Raskin replied.
“You could say yes,” Tapper replied.
Here’s more from the exchange:
RASKIN: I don’t know if President Biden has named his running mate. We’re going to a conference next summer. It’s…still a year away. And we will go through this process.
TAPPER: You say I don’t know what to say. The answer is, you could say yes. You could say: Yes, I think Kamala Harris is the best vice president and the best candidate for President Biden. That’s the answer you could give now. Yes she is.
RASKIN: So I haven’t seen any opinion polls. You could be a stronger vice presidential candidate than them, me or anyone else. I don’t know who else when you talk about the poll. But I can tell you that from a content and policy perspective she would be an excellent choice. And she and the president have done an outstanding job.
Harris, a frequent target of the right, does not appear to be receiving a resounding vote of confidence from her own party’s voters.
According to a CBS News/YouGov pollDemocratic voters are significantly less “enthusiastic” about Harris than they were in 2020.