Election 2020: Biden and Harris speak together in Delaware

8 min ago

Harris has arrived at Biden's home in Delaware

From CNN’s Sarah Mucha

The Biden campaign confirms that a motorcade including a silver SUV and a black SUV with DC plates seen pulling into the Biden compound was that of his running mate Sen. Kamala Harris.

They are hosting their first campaign event together later today.

39 min ago

What we know of Biden and Harris' first campaign event together

From CNN's Eric Bradner

Presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden and his running mate, California Sen. Kamala Harris, are set to make their first appearance together Wednesday afternoon for a speech in Delaware.

The speech comes the day after Biden chose Harris after a months-long vice presidential vetting process, making her the first Black woman and first person of Indian descent to be tapped for a major political party's ticket.

Their spouses, Jill Biden and Doug Emhoff, will also attend the speech in Wilmington, Jill Biden spokesperson Michael LaRosa said.

After the speech, Biden and Harris are set to appear together at an online fundraiser for "grassroots" small-dollar donors.

In a tweet that could preview their message, Biden tweeted Wednesday morning that if he and Harris win, "we're going to inherit multiple crises, a nation divided, and a world in disarray. We won't have a minute to waste."

"That's exactly why I picked her: She's ready to lead on day one," he tweeted.

An unconventional campaign: Whether and how the two can hit the campaign trail, together or separately, remains to be seen.

Next week's Democratic National Convention would ordinarily kick off a frenetic two-and-a-half month sprint to the Nov. 3 election, but the coronavirus pandemic has effectively sidelined Biden from campaigning.

He spent July delivering weekly speeches detailing planks of his economic agenda.

The last time Biden held a campaign rally — March 9 in Detroit, on the eve of the Michigan primary — Harris appeared with him on stage, as the 77-year-old former vice president called himself a "bridge" to a new generation of Democratic leaders.

47 min ago

Kamala Harris' barrier-breaking path to the VP nomination

From CNN's Gregory Krieg and Jasmine Wright

Mark Makela/Getty Images
Mark Makela/Getty Images

Sen. Kamala Harris on Tuesday became the first Black and South Asian American woman chosen for national office by a major political party, when former Vice President Joe Biden named the moderate former prosecutor to be his running mate this fall.

Harris, 55, has spent her career breaking barriers.

In California, she was the first woman — and first Black woman — to serve as the state's top law enforcement official. She is the first Black woman from California to serve in the US Senate, and second from any state, after Illinois' Carol Moseley Braun. Harris is also the first person of Indian descent to appear on a presidential ticket.

And if Biden defeats President Trump in November, Harris would become the first woman in US history to serve as vice president.

Harris follows Democrat Geraldine Ferraro, in 1984, and Republican Sarah Palin, in 2008, as only the third woman to be chosen as the running mate on a presidential ticket. Both of those campaigns lost to icons of the opposing parties — Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama, respectively.

During the Democratic presidential primary, Harris, who would drop out before the first round of voting, often found herself stuck in between the Democratic Party's progressive wing, led by Sens. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, and its moderate establishment, headlined by Biden. The left criticized Harris' record on criminal justice, from her election as district attorney in San Francisco to her time as California's attorney general.

Those concerns were amplified after Harris' spectacular entry into the race in January 2019, when her announcement was greeted by an adoring crowd of 20,000 outdoors in Oakland, California. Her campaign would become the most expansively waged by any Black woman in American political history. Decades after Shirley Chisholm ran for president in 1972, Harris amassed more than $35 million dollars over 11 months, despite the challenges that Black women candidates face raising in money.

Read more.

1 hr 9 min ago

An inside look at Biden's virtual search for his running mate 

From CNN's Dan Merica, Jeff Zeleny and MJ Lee

Biden calls Harris from his Delaware home to inform her that she was his choice for vice president.
Biden calls Harris from his Delaware home to inform her that she was his choice for vice president. Adam Schultz/Biden for President

Joe Biden started with Kamala Harris, and in the end, came back to her.

Biden interviewed the California senator over video chat as he entered the homestretch of his search. And although the former vice president would ultimately interview 11 prospective running mates in the span of 10 days, Biden ultimately went with the woman who had always made the most sense to him.

CNN spoke to more than a dozen Biden advisers, friends and top Democrats involved in the campaign's search who painted a picture of a deliberative and intense process, one that saw the former vice president actively consider a range of candidates even as many around him believed the position was Harris' to lose from the outset.

The search was complicated by the coronavirus pandemic, with Biden unable to spend considerable time on the campaign trail with any of his prospective running mates. Candidates like Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and others rose to greater prominence over the last several months of protests and pandemic, but Harris always had a key edge: Biden has a familiarity with the California senator that grew during their time in the Democratic primary.

When Biden finally met with Harris virtually, he already felt a "genuine personal connection," a source said.

Some close to the former vice president harbored negative feelings on the way Harris pointedly attacked Biden on issues of race during the first Democratic debate in 2019. Those concerns raised such alarm bells among high-profile Harris supporters that they organized a call with the campaign to defend the California senator.

But multiple people who Biden spoke with during the vetting process said they got a sense the Harris was always a top choice.

"I always felt he would come back to his comfort zone," said a close Biden friend, "which was Kamala Harris."

Read more:

1 hr 44 min ago

Biden and Harris will formally accept their Democratic nominations next week

 From CNN's Sarah Mucha and Dan Merica

A sign advertises the Democratic National Convention in Milwaukee. The speaker list for the convention has been scaled back significantly after the coronavirus forced Democratic planners to scrap plans for an in-person event in Milwaukee and shrink most of the live programming to two hours each night from 9 p.m. ET to 11 p.m. ET.
A sign advertises the Democratic National Convention in Milwaukee. The speaker list for the convention has been scaled back significantly after the coronavirus forced Democratic planners to scrap plans for an in-person event in Milwaukee and shrink most of the live programming to two hours each night from 9 p.m. ET to 11 p.m. ET. Bryan R. Smith/AFP/Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden, the Democratic party's presumptive nominee, is set to accept the party's nomination and deliver his acceptance speech next Thursday during the Democratic National Convention held in a virtual setting. Vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris is expected to do the same a night earlier.

The Democratic National Convention Committee on Tuesday announced its speaker line-up for the convention, unveiling a list that includes both Barack and Michelle Obama, Jill Biden and a host of women Biden had considered as his running mate.

The speaker list for the convention has been scaled back significantly after coronavirus forced Democratic planners to scrap plans for an in-person event in Milwaukee and shrink most of the live programming to two hours each night from 9 p.m. ET to 11 p.m. ET.

Michelle Obama and Jill Biden will headline the first two nights of the convention, and Harris, along with former President Barack Obama, are expected to deliver the keynote Wednesday evening. Biden, introduced by his family, will accept the nomination on Thursday night.

The list of speakers from the four-night event aims to represent the ideological diversity inside the Democratic Party, with representatives from the party's left like Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez speaking, along with more moderate members of the party like vulnerable Alabama Sen. Doug Jones and Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar each getting key speaking slots.

Monday's speaker line-up features the broadest representation of Joe Biden's supporters across the Democratic spectrum, from Sanders, a leader of the progressive wing of the Democratic Party to Klobuchar, his one-time primary opponent. Former Gov. John Kasich, who ran for the Republican nomination for president in 2016, is also slated to speak on the same evening.

Neither Biden nor Harris will travel to Milwaukee, the original convention site, due to safety concerns related to Covid-19. Instead, Biden will accept the nomination from Delaware.

Read more about the DNC line-up here.

2 hr ago

Pelosi: Harris is the "best possible person" Biden could have chosen

From CNN's Haley Byrd

Zach Gibson/Getty Images
Zach Gibson/Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi praised Sen. Kamala Harris on Wednesday as “the best person that Joe Biden could name” for his vice presidential running mate.

“There are many people who would do no harm. There are many people who could be president. But to have those two combined with the person he had the comfort level with to serve,” Pelosi said during an interview on MSNBC. “Let’s recognize her not only as the first woman of color to be vice president, but also the best possible person he could have chosen to proceed into this election and of course to win and to serve the American people.”
2 hr 22 min ago

Kamala Harris "knows what it is to be different," Rep. Clyburn says

From CNN's Adrienne Vogt

Drew Angerer/Getty Images
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

House Majority Whip Rep. James Clyburn, the highest-ranking African American in Congress, whose endorsement of Joe Biden helped propel the former vice president to victory in the South Carolina primary, said Sen. Kamala Harris as Biden’s running mate pick means a “great deal” to him.

“He really, as Barack Obama said, he nailed this,” Clyburn said in an interview on CNN. 

Clyburn said that Harris, the first Black and South Asian women chosen for national office by a major political party, exemplifies how people from diverse backgrounds can add insight and perspective to lawmaking. 

“She knows what it is to be different or to be the other. Bringing that in, with the success that she's had breaking through in areas that no woman had broken into before, I think all of that gives Joe Biden the kind of aura around his campaign that will endear him to the vast majority of American people,” Clyburn said. 

Clyburn also dismissed any concerns about Harris performing poorly among some Black voters in the presidential primaries. 

“People were saying to me that to them, the dream ticket would be Biden and Harris. Biden and Harris. They wanted to see her at the second spot on this ticket, and that's a reason that a lot of people were not supporting her, because they wanted to see Biden as the nominee and wanted to see her where she is today,” Clyburn said. 


2 hr 33 min ago

GOP senator on Kamala Harris: "I like her"

From CNN's Manu Raju

Graeme Jennings/Pool/Getty Images
Graeme Jennings/Pool/Getty Images

Sen. Roy Blunt, a member of Senate GOP leadership, weighed in on Sen. Kamala Harris, telling a group of reporters on Capitol Hill:

"I don’t vote with her very often, we don’t agree on our votes, but I served with her, I like her. We’re on the Intel Committee together. She has normally stayed very well within the standards of that committee, which in the Senate is the least political of all committees. And she’s smart and she’s tough.”

Asked if it would be a tough ticket to beat, Blunt said: "We'll have to see later what she adds to the ticket."

2 hr 42 min ago

Kaine: Kamala is a "historic" pick for VP

From CNN's Alex Rogers 

Alex Wong/Getty Images
Alex Wong/Getty Images

Sen. Tim Kaine, Hillary Clinton’s running mate in the 2016 presidential election, cheered Joe Biden’s pick of Sen. Kamala Harris to be the vice presidential nominee, calling it a “historic” choice.

“Her public service track record is a significant one, worthy of praise,” Kaine said on the Senate floor, ticking off her work as San Francisco district attorney, California's attorney general and senator. He then turned to her personal story, noting that she is the first black woman and first South Asian American woman to be on a major party’s presidential ticket.

“In the year 2020, when we are commemorating the hundredth anniversary of the amendment that guaranteed women the right to vote, I can think of no greater way to celebrate a centennial than for one of our colleagues, who is a woman, to have a chance to break a glass ceiling,” said Kaine. 

The Virginia senator then said that the US is “uniquely bad in electing women to higher office” compared to the rest of the world. 

“So regardless of how it all works out between now in November, and regardless of our own political affiliations, this is a good day, I believe for the country and a good day for the Senate, when one of the 100 is recognized in such a way and introduced to the American public with an opportunity to serve at a significant level,” Kaine added.

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