Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) made a valiant attempt to defend former Vice President (and competitor for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination) Joe Biden over the weekend, telling a reporter who asked her about Biden’s Ukrainian connections to “leave Joe Biden alone.”
Former Trump administration United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley may not have been the first to point out Harris’ disregard for fact-finding, but she was certainly among Harris’ most brutal critics.
Harris’ embarrassing interaction was captured on camera. After being confronted about Biden’s ties to the Ukraine and an alleged protection scheme that saw Biden wielding influence to protect his son from Ukrainian prosecutors, Harris just laughed the situation off, telling media to “leave Joe Biden alone.”
Omg this is humiliating: pic.twitter.com/80MQeEwmoZ
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) September 29, 2019
That’s a complete 180-degree shift from Harris own strategy just a month ago. In the first Democratic debate, Harris wounded Biden and soared, briefly, to a second-place position among Democratic 2020 contenders, after insinuating that Biden was racist for opposing interracial busing as a method of integrating urban schools.
Worse, though, is Harris’ implications about Biden’s role in Ukraine, which is at the center of a power and influence controversy involving President Donald Trump, and may lead to his impeachment.
There are two parties whose actions should be investigated, perhaps, but Harris is only focusing on one, as Haley was quick to point out on Twitter.
“Leave Joe Biden alone?” Haley tweeted. “So are you telling us @KamalaHarris that what Biden did was ethical and moral?”
“Where are the questions about the conflict of interest that occurred from Biden’s actions and the issues with his son?” she continued. “This response is embarrassing.”
Leave Joe Biden alone? So are you telling us @KamalaHarris that what Biden did was ethical and moral? Where are the questions about the conflict of interest that occurred from Biden’s actions and the issues with his son? This response is embarrassing. https://t.co/AdUP38KinY
— Nikki Haley (@NikkiHaley) September 29, 2019
Harris likely sees no benefit from Biden’s destruction. He’s her best foil in debates and she reaped her only upswing in the polls after confronting Biden on the debate stage. Now flailing at a miserable 4% – down nearly 50% from her polling high — Harris can use all the strategic advantages she can get.
He’s also not hurting her numbers. Harris needs Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) to bleed support. As long as Biden remains in the race, there’s still a chance Harris can recoup her losses.
On Monday, Harris reportedly “reorganized” her campaign, shuffling staffers and elevating some of her more trusted campaign aides into senior positions. Politico reports that Harris is even considering ditching her current campaign manager in favor of a pair of longtime advisers in a last ditch effort to jolt her campaign out of the doldrums.
Nikki Haley has long been rumored to be a replacement for Trump’s current Vice President, former Indiana governor Mike Pence should the need arise. Haley is doing little to dispel the theory that she plans to re-enter party politics as soon as possible. After spending years in New York City, she moved her family back to South Carolina, where she served as governor, just last week.
She has given only one assurance: she has no plans to challenge Trump for the Republican party’s 2020 nomination.