tv The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer CNN August 11, 2020 2:00pm-3:00pm PDT
broken, that's what she brings to the ticket. and also the other thing that we haven't talked a lot about is that she's the daughter of immigrants. she speaks with authority by her very embodiment of who she is. the daughter of immigrants, a biracial woman and a former prosecutor. >> immigrants from india and jamaica. kyung lah, thank you so much for bringing us the latest. our coverage on cnn continues right now. this is cnn breaking news. >> i want to welcome our viewers from united states and around the world. wolf blitzer is off today. i am anderson cooper in "the situation room." biden has picked senator kamala harris as his running mate. that announcement coming in the last hour. we're covering all the angles on the breaking news this hour. let's begin with cnn's senior washington correspondent jeff zeleny. jeff, bring us up to speed.
>> reporter: anderson, it is the biggest decision that joe biden has made in his political career and certainly in his presidential campaign. by choosing kamala harris, he sets his campaign off from the next 85 days or so here into the general election race. we do know that he was choosing between 11 potential candidates, all women. when you talk to friends of the former vice president, they say he was consistently looking for someone who could be a governing partner. also taking into account the moment that this country has been going through the last several months, and certainly senator harris' record on justice, record on reform, and showing that she is indeed a trailmaking figure in her own right, certainly led to this decision. but they have also had conversations of course throughout the presidential campaign. they were rivals which we all remember very well. but that quickly was said in the past. there is no one that vice president joe biden, he knew he
needed someone who had campaign experience, he knew he needed someone who had been on the international stage. he did not want to, i'm told, put someone in the position of having to be elevated to that position without being sort of in a prominent role. it was her time on the debate stage even moments of going after him that showed him what it takes here. it is the historic nature of this candidacy that is one of the biggest moments here. of course she will be only the third woman to be a running mate. and even though her presidential campaign was not successful, she did have popularity with women in the suburbs. so the biden campaign believes this injects excitement into this campaign. even president trump has raised kamala harris. he has had his eye on her for a long time. he was watching her announcement back in january of 2019 praising
her crowds. and he's talked about her often. that is going to be an interesting dynamic to watch. there will be one debate between senator harris and vice president mike pence. but it is this decision. we're told in the last several days or so after the former vice president went through his list of other potential candidates including michigan governor gretchen whitmer who he wanted to have in for a face-to-face meeting. he was very flattered and he was impressed and taken by how she has led in michigan on coronavirus. so he had her fly to delaware. they had a face-to-face meeting. he had a face to face ♪ ♪ meeting with the other candidates as well. it was the california senator kamala harris who he kept coming back to for that combination of experience on the stage as well as what she brings to the ticket here. we are going to see them for the first time tomorrow in
wilmington, delaware. she will be leaving washington and driving up to delaware to make an experience with joe biden. of course, this is all on the heels of the democratic convention starting just next week. so a week from tomorrow she will be developing or delivering her self-ance speech at the convention virtually. and then will be on her way here. anderson, this long-awaited summer decision which joe biden has painstakingly gone through is ending where many people thought it was beginning with senator kamala harris. >> it does raise the question how real was the search for the consideration of others? because, clearly, as you say, he wanted somebody who had national experience running on the national stage, and of the finalists, as it were, of the names -- it was really either kamala harris or senator elizabeth warren who had actually run campaigns of their own, run for president, or even just been on the national stage compared to the others. >> we are told by his advisers that he took this very seriously.
he looked at all the vetting records. 11 women were vetted for this position. their financial records, their personal histories, their medical records. some to varying degrees here, but he was also looking to see if anyone else had jumped out at him. and i think the michigan governor gretchen whitmer is one example of someone that joe biden didn't really know. he had only met her a couple of other times but he was impressed by how she was handling coronavirus, impressed by some of the fights that she was getting in with the president. of course, he was instigating those. this was definitely a process he was going through. but at the end it did come back to senator harris for many of those reasons here. and in her -- the only words we've heard from her so far was the tweet she sent out. she said she's honored to join his ticket. that clearly is a sign of her pledge of loyalty to joe biden. and, anderson, one other thing, there is a connection that bonds her to the bidens. that is through his late son bo. she was the attorney general in california at the same time that beau biden was the attorney
general in delaware. they worked on mortgage loan issues together. and it was a friendship that joe biden even said in his announcement today. he said that she already is connected to the family. family is very important to the bidens. so that is something that she alone also brought to the table here, anderson. >> she also has been in the rough and tumble of campaigns, not just obviously the campaign for president but for district attorney, in san francisco and in california, obviously for senator as well. >> no question. and that played a key role in this. only a handful of other candidates, certainly senator warren as well had been tested in a national campaign like this. and no one knows what it's like to run for vice president more than joe biden. he did it in 1997 and 2007. he was skeptical, frankly, i'm told, of putting some of these untested figures in this national campaign. the biden campaign knows how difficult this is going to be.
it's not easy or common to defeat a sitting president. this campaign they realize will not be easy either. but it was her abilities on the campaign trail that also led to this. but just her biography as well. she is the full package here. now we will have to see how this relationship comes together. everyone talks about there's no question that the relationship with joe biden and barack obama at the end of their eight years was incredibly strong. it didn't necessarily start out that way. they barely knew each other. they had to work into that relationship. so that, i'm told, is the types of discussions that those two had when they had their interview. that is the kind of partnership he is looking for. and of course the governing partner whoever wins in november certainly many, many challenges await the next president, anderson. >> it is a fascinating choice, and one we're obviously going to be looking very closely at over the next several hours and days. cnn political correspondent arlette saenz is next. what too we know about biden and
harris' first event together? >> reporter: well, anderson, joe biden and kamala harris will be holding their first event as the democratic ticket here in wilmington tomorrow. they will be delivering remarks. we are still waiting on an exact date and time. but this will be the first time that the two of them are in person together since biden selected kamala harris as his running mate. and, actually, biden's last campaign event before coronavirus brought everything to a standstill, his last major campaign rally was one that he held with kamala harris in detroit back in march. and he stood on that stage with kamala harris and also michigan governor gretchen whitmer and new jersey senator cory booker. and biden talked about how he views himself as the bridge to the next generation. and that is something that you clearly see in this pick that he made today. now, kamala harris brings a lot of experience as jeff was talking about on the national stage, having competed against
biden in that democratic primary. also having run for senator in california. that is something she will be bringing to this campaign as they head into this three-month stretch in leading up to that election against president trump and mike pence. you can't underestimate kamala harris' relationship with beau biden. they served together as attorney generals in their states. and for biden, family is incredibly important. beau biden was also seen as a promising political mind, and his life was cut short by cancer. but that bond that he has with kamala harris is something that the biden family will hold onto as these two teams blend together. biden's looking for that long-term potential that he can develop a relationship with his partner in the white house. so that is something that he clearly sees going forward with kamala harris. now, we also should note in this is a historic pick. kamala harris is an african-american woman, also a
woman of south-asian descent. biden was part of an historic administration serving alongside the first african-american president. now if he is elected as president, he will be serving alongside the first woman and also a diverse woman. >> arlette, just in terms of the event, you said she is coming there, assuming that therefore they are actually physically together in person for this event. is it just going to be a virtual event? sort of online somewhere? is there actually going to be an appearance somewhere in delaware somewhere with an audience? >> reporter: well, the campaign hasn't given us much details about what this event will consist of. but we do expect that reporters would be allowed into that event as some of biden's previous events here in the state of delaware and pennsylvania. but certainly just as we've seen i've been to a few of biden's events since coronavirus has taken place.
and there is always social distancing trying to make sure that they are keeping those protocols and safety measures in place. so that is something that likely will also take effect tomorrow. right now one big question heading into these fall months is what is campaigning going to look like. will biden and will his running mate be touring the country as you typically do? it remains to be seen at this point. -- has largely turned virtual. >> what are biden's events like that you have attended? you said they're social distancing. it's obviously, what, a small event somewhere speaking to a small crowd? >> so biden's events in the past two months have been either here in delaware or in pennsylvania. and it's typically a small group of reporters that are allowed in. and then at times there are some other members. perhaps he sat for a roundtable with a group of people before in
pennsylvania. so, those are the types of events that he's engaging in. but right now the campaign hasn't given us any further details other than the two of them will be together here in wilmington as the democratic ticket. >> all right, thanks so much. appreciate it. let's go to cnn's jessica dean who is outside senator harris' washington, d.c. home. any sign of the senator? >> reporter: well, anderson, our crews last saw kamala harris on sunday. and since then there has been no sign of harris here at her condo building in northwest washington d.c. we have seen her husband. he was out earlier today getting a cup of coffee. but so far no sign of harris. we are seeing a large crowd gathering here of neighbors and crowd but no harris. i do want to show you a picture that is coming from the former vice president's instagram feed. take a look at this. we're just learning this photo was taken today when he was informing harris she would be his pick for vice president. i have the great honor to announce i've picked at kamala
harris a fearless fighter for the little guy and one of the country's finest public servants as my running mate. back when kamala was attorney general, she worked closely with beau. and i watched as they took on the big banks, lifted up working people and protected kids and women from abuse. i am proud her to have my partner in this campaign. and, anderson, i know that we have heard from arlette and others, jeff zeleny. but beau biden really playing a big role in this, in the fundraising emails and the announcement emails in this photo he speaks of beau biden's relationship with kamala harris. but here in washington, d.c., we are keeping an eye out for her to see if she might come out through the front or through the back. we know that they will be together tomorrow for their first event together. the question is, anderson, how will they get together? is she already there? is she en route? or is she still here in d.c.? that we'll find out. >> let's check in with david
chalian. we have a whole team obviously of political experts, correspondents as well. david chalian, obviously a fascinating choice, a historic choice in this extraordinarily historic year. >> yeah. and the history is key here. given where we are in the country right now in this moment in time, joe biden choosing a barrier-breaking kind of choice for his running mate. that should just not go unnoticed. that is a critical component here. there is so much antipathy about donald trump and the democratic party. that's fueling so much of joe biden's support right now. what the biden campaign is now counting on is kamala harris joining forces and being a force multiplier and really appealing to constituencies to help jazz that enthusiasm even more than what the sort of the anger at
donald trump is already putting in place for joe biden's current standing in this race. >> also, when one is considering a vice president, you try to, as you say, look for a person who has strengths in areas that you may not have, and certainly kamala harris had appeal among women in the suburbs, as jeff zeleny said earlier, you know, joe biden clearly who has a lot of support among older african-americans certainly hopes that kamala harris helps him among african-americans as well as she's got a california, west coast connection, and has been on the stage. >> that last part is so key that she has been on the stage. because you know, anderson, these next seven or eight days before she gives her acceptance speech is now sort of the full vetting again. but for a year and a half, she went through a vetting as a presidential candidate. it was not a successful
campaign. she bowed out before the voting ever began. but she did deal with a lot of the incoming that she's going to have to deal with again and answered for it throughout the course of her campaign. to your point, though, i do see -- there are places where she and joe biden are both strong. female voters is certainly a place they both are very strong in their critical component to democrat success against donald trump if they are to have success this fall. but i would also just note the generational shift here. here is a woman in her mid-50s, african-american woman, an indian-american woman. the face of the new democratic party. that is where joe biden -- yes, he is an african-american support. they helped deliver him the democratic nomination. but i think the passing of the torch, seeing himself as a transitional figure in democratic politics at the
moment, this generational shift, this new face of the democratic party, i think joe biden wanted to put all of that front and center with this pick as well. >> yeah. and energy that he would certainly like to have moving forward, given the bizarre nature of what campaigning will be like over the next 80 plus days. >> think about it. it's not going to look like anything we've ever seen before. the idea of how the campaign unfolds. do you knock on voters' doors? certainly the trump team has been trying to do that. get out on the stump. none of that is going to happen. getting energy injected into a process that is going to be a lot through screens is no doubt a key component. she has that proven quality as well. >> yeah. let's check in with nia-malika henderson, david chalian, thanks so much. nia-malika, what do you make of this? >> you know, the history of it, i think in some ways we've been
talking about biden/harris ticket for about a year now. so much so that to some people it might seem inevitable. of course it was going to be kamala harris. she's a conventional choice, she makes sense. she can step into the presidency on day one. but the history and the bloodsweat, and tears that it took to get here. back in the 1850s prevailing on white women to include black women in their fight for suffrage saying that black women themselves were women too. i think about fanny lou hamer who in the 1960s had to tell the democratic party that black voters should be included in their agenda. and then you think of course of shirley chisholm, 1972 launching her bid for the white house. she was dismissed in many ways, obviously didn't win, but the idea behind that candidacy was to expand the american imagination about who could hold
power, expand black people's imagination about who could hold power, black men's imagination about who could hold power and certainly just the broader population. and obviously when kamala harris announced her candidacy in january, she also talked about shirley chisholm saying that she was carrying this banner that shirley chisholm unfurled in 1972 almost 50 years ago. so we will see what this process is like. but the history of it, and i also think it should be noted that this is still a risky pick. america is still a country that is marred too often by racism and sexism. black women in particular often ignored, stepped over and stepped on. so data that somehow, a, that this was inevitable and this is a risky bold choice, even in this moment where people are
talking about social justice. there's clearly a rising democratic shift in this country. it's blacker, it's browner. you think about congress, more women ever in this present congress. but still for joe biden to make this pick, it isn't without risk. we've seen what's happened even already in terms of people talking about kamala harris. is she too ambitious? does she rub people the wrong way? and this was from joe biden's friends, people in this circle. so we will see how she is covered going forward. we expect that some of these terrible, terrible forces of both racism and sexism clearly haven't been overcome, but it is also clear that if you're picking someone to overcome them, it would be kamala harris, somebody who has broken barriers in california and made history over and over again. imagination how hard that has
been for a black woman to really ascend to this highest office in the land so far with this nomination. so we'll see. but we should not downplay the significance of this of the riskiness of this. and, my goodness, this was not inevitable. it came from hundreds of years of hard work. and more a real campaign by african-american women in particular to say it's time for a black woman to have this kind of seat at the table, given how important they've been to the democratic party to joe biden's campaign, more specifically in just the democratic party's fortunes. >> former president obama has put out a tweet. i just want to put that up on the screen it. >> says i've known senator kamala harris for a long time. she's more than prepared for the job. she spent her career defending our constitution and fighting for folks who need a fair shake. it's a good day for our country. now let's go win this this cang.
the record of kamala harris as a prosecutor, as a district attorney in san francisco, in california writ large, that is obviously going to be under a microscope. she has run before, so everything is pretty much well known. i'm wondering how you think her record as a district attorney, how that -- i mean, on the one hand, you have the white house saying about joe biden that he wants to de-fund police. joe biden has said he does not want to de-fund police. you also have younger people in the "black lives matter" movement who certainly do want to de-fund police and who see somebody like kamala harris as somebody who has been part of a system that they want changed. >> is that to me, anderson? >> yes. >> so, i think if you look at
kamala harris' record, criminal justice record, in many ways it sort of mirrors where the democratic party has been over these last many years. she was a prosecutor. she often sided with the police in many ways. she had to navigate all crosscurrents. look at her conviction record. part of what happened was the conviction record went up. and that was a selling point for kamala harris as she made her way up eventually to attorney general. and then you have i think this situation whereas you said, black lives matter folks, de-fund the police. you also just have an increasing sort of racial liberalism taking hold in the democratic party. and that includes white voters too. black lives matter, if you look at their approval ratings a couple of years ago, it wasn't where it is right now. so people much more likely to pay attention to some of the messages from the black lives matter movement. joe biden, obviously had a
different stance back in the day when he was part of the crime bill. that's where the party was. but you've seen this shift. and i think you see a similar thing going on with kamala harris. but it's also true that there are some african-americans who like the idea of being tough on crime. there are certainly white suburbanites who like the idea of being tough on crime. i'm sure when kamala harris was running in california, those were the kind of people she appealed to and found favor with. this is going to be scrutinized. you are going to have a president who, on the one hand, like you said, somehow they want to de-fund the police. kamala harris was tough on crime. i imagine they will probably sort of try to micro target particularly african-american men in saying these are the kind of people who want to lock up your sons and daughters. but at the same time i think you're going to have them be able to appeal to some of these
working-class white voters who are maybe a little nervous about de-fund the police and are maybe a little nervous about some of the -- coming out of black lives matter. >> i want to show you some video of a town hall that we did with former vice president biden, which he spoke about what he would look for in a vice presidential candidate. let's watch. >> it's incredibly peremptorious for me at this stage to be talking about a running mate. i'll get kill fire department i get specific. but let me tell you what rather than who, and there is a number of incredibly qualified people. the first criteria that i have to, particularly in my case because i'm older, i have to pick someone of, god forbid if something happened tomorrow or if i contracted what my son had, that the person's ready on day one to be president of the united states. but the second criteria is i
would very much like my administration to look like barack and our administration looked like. black, brown, women, men, gay, straight. as vice president, i think it will be wonderful to have a woman or a person of color as vice president. but the most important thing i've learned from my relationship with barack, i call him barack, not president, because i don't want to confuse him with the president. but, at any rate, one of the things i learned is that no president in the 21st century can handle the job all by themselves. it's just too much that lands on your plate. so you've got to be prepared to turn over a snont responsibility as the president did with me on matters relating to a whole range of issues and turn it over and run it from beginning to end. but you've got to be on the same page. whomever i pick, man, woman, has
to agree with my strategic vision for the country. we can disagree on tactic. but unless -- and they can be totally trustworthy. but if they don't agree on strategic, it's impossible to say, here, you take this responsibility with regard to ukraine, you take care of it, and just do it. you have know you're on the same page. that's the first criteria i know has to exist no matter who you pick. >> that was former vice president joe biden february 5th. it seems like a lifetime ago before the pandemic really hit. we're joined now by more of our correspondents, talk to dana bash. dana, were you surprised by this selection? >> not really. because this has been one of the top contenders that we know that the former vice president has been considering since he began the process. and that moment where the former vice president really laid it out there what he was looking
for, it's really remarkable in looking through the prism of today. and you remember the last debate of the 2020 primary season was with cnn. and the question i asked joe biden was if he became the nominee, who frpd he pick? and he vowed he would pick a women. and i think we were all surprised that he made that promise. it was one of the last events really before the pandemic really took hold. the fact that he said that, the fact that he was already on this path of a woman and clearly looking for somebody who was not necessarily a white woman, made it pretty clear that there were a limited number of people who he thought would meet the criteria that he laid out there. most importantly, somebody who he could really trust, somebody who could step in there on day one. having said that, there were a
number of african-american women on his short list. val demings, a congresswoman from florida, karen bass, congresswoman from california. we know that he talked to susan rice, among others. and i think that's important to underscore that there actually were a number of women of color, never mind tammy duckworth, who, of course, is asian-american, women of color, who he was seriously considering. and so that is the reality that he had. i will tell you that my reporting along the way and i know my colleagues also, despite the fact that he kind of ended up where maybe people thought he started, he had a really tough time making a decision. and the reason for that is what he laid out with you in that town hall, anderson. because he was a two-term vice president. because he understands just how important the job is as being the wingwoman or man both in
matters of trust, on policy, and it kind of goes from there. and so you add the fact that, as he said to you, he's not a young man, and this is even more important of a pick because of that. it makes it very clear why he missed his own deadline a couple of times in making the final decision, anderson. >> dana, i also want to bring in gloria borger. fascinating to watch that from that town hail from february 5th, all the qualities he kind of laid out and how that ended up with the choice that he has made. this is also going to be a campaign like we've never seen anything like this before, given the pandemic. and i don't think anyone even really knows what it is going to look like in terms of events. will there be large events? will there be rallies? will there be canvassing?
and so that, no doubt, made the decision all the harder. >> sure. look, and making it up as they go along, but knowing joe biden as i do and talking to advisers in his campaign, this is a man who read everything about every candidate. and it's not as if we're all going to be able to stand there, anderson and say, oh, look at the body language between these two people, they really seem to get along. that isn't going to occur. we know a lot about joe biden and what this pick tells us about joe biden. and it tells us that he is willing to bridge a demographic gap. he does want to unite the democratic party. and, quite frankly, one of the things that my sources were telling me that one of his concerns was in picking someone was not only loyalty, do no harm and all the rest of it, was that he wanted a woman who he thought would be tough enough to take
what donald trump and his campaign would be throwing at her. and if you look at kamala harris, she's tough, and she's been tough. and, in fact, she unleashed it, i don't want to overdo this, but she unleashed it on joe biden. and one of his advisers said this shows you that he's nothing like trump. because if someone had done that to trump, he would have forgotten them forever. biden said, you know what, okay, she did that, and she's tough. that is what he is looking for. don't forget, biden is mr. empathy in this campaign. you heard him talk about his son beau. even in announcing the pick of kamala harris. kamala harris is a tough-as-nails prosecutor. and i think there was a lot of thought that went into how would she do in a debate with mike pence and how would she handle the donald trump campaign?
and i don't know whether that -- how important that was on his list. because, of course, loyalty is on the list as well. but i know that biden wanted someone to balance him that way, to be really tough. >> and we talked about this, dana. but somebody who has been there on the national stage and also not just on the national stage but as district attorney in california, in san francisco. she's had some tough races. >> she sure has. she's definitely had some tough races in just getting to the point where she could be the democratic senator from california, considering the fact that it's a state of democrats that wasn't so easy for her. and she is a trailblazer. she became the first female african-american attorney general in california, the first african-american woman to represent california in the united states senate. and now of course the biggest
barrier that she has broken and just being picked. and she will be confirmed by the party as the first african-american running mate, female running mate for any major party. that is a really big deal. and the fact that we are so used to seeing kamala harris on the stage because of the fact that she ran, maybe we've kind of gotten used to seeing her out there. but she's going to be in such a different role right now. and she is a historymaker. there is no question about it. and the one thing that i just want to emphasize that i mentioned earlier about the notion of representation. we've seen and heard so much about representation mattering, particularly since the whole country exploded and changed in a very good way after the murder
of george floyd. i mean, this is a sign of those times. this is the ultimate in politics and representation mattering, and young african-american or other women of color and girls of color are going to look to kamala harris as, well, if she can do it, i can do it. and that is no small thing. >> let's bring in bakari sellers to this conversation. bakari, we haven't talked to you yet today since vice president biden made the announcement. your thoughts on the history of this. >> i'm ecstatic. and the reason being is something that dana hit on. i am the father of a 15-year-old black daughter, a 19 month old black daughter. now they get a chance to look at the screen the first time in october at the vice presidential debate and see someone who looks like them go toe to toe. hopefully next january at the inauguration after she's able to put her hand in the air and get
sworn in as the next vp and show little black and brown children that they have a chance. not just simply the fact that she hasn't lost an election, she's won at district attorney level, she's won as attorney general level and united states senator. it's not just her relationship with the obamas, the clintons, and the bidens, but it's the fact that she brings a certain element to this ticket. she inspires us all. my phone is going crazy right now with people who just want to go out and do everything necessary. i was speaking with our former colleague donna brazil and we were talking last night and she said she is going to put on -- there's a generation of black folk who have had to go out and vote under conditions that were worse than covid. and they are going to wear two masks to go out and vote.
my mama texted me and said can you put me in touch with the biden campaign? because i want to sign up and work. there are so many people who are now energized. and i don't want to say that energy was lacking but it's a new wind beneath the wings of the biden campaign. and i know right now that mike pence is probably the person who's most fearful of kamala harris. >> there will be one debate between them. and it is clearly part of the consideration, bakari, that the vice president must have gone through about who can stand on that vice presidential debate stage. because it's one thing to be in a primary race with a lot of other candidates to be one on one on a debate stage going toe to toe, it's no small feat. >> let's think about this. none of the women who were interviewed to be vice president were slouches. we had to give props to karen bass who was an amazing candidate. i'm glad she got the interview
and the shine that she deserves. look at val demings who was not only excellent during impeachment but excellent then and throughout this process. susan rice. any of these women who've been great choices for vice president and they would have been great debaters. but we have a known quality in kamala harris because we've seen her debate. and who can tell you how good a debater she is other than joe biden? there are a lot of people who blew this way out of proportion. when you get in between the lines you try to win the game. kamala harris was try be to be the president of the united states. she prepared for debate like anybody else. and joe biden knows that. you can set aside any petty differences you have, and also know that someone has those skills that are requisite to be the next vice president. but, anderson, i can't leave you without sharing this. not only is she a friend, but i also recognize that she stands on the shoulders of people like ella baker, like fanny lou hamer, like shirley chisholm,
like hillary clinton. this is history and i know we've talked about this being a moment of george floyd. i know we've talked about this being a moment of ahmaud arbery. but there are a lot of women in this country who are sick and tired of being left behind, who are sick and tired of the name breonna taylor not being called out. and kamala harris is representative of not just that frustration. she's not just representative of where we were or where we are. but kamala harris is representative of where we can be. and so i'm fired up. i'm ready to go out here and do whatever they need me to do to make sure she wins this race. >> we have seen this real growth of black women in the black lives matter movement and just in the protest movement over the last several months really taking very forward positions, being in the forefront of this civil rights movement in the 60s there were many black women doing incredibly important work risking their lives. but it was often men who got the attention.
that seems to be changing and though many in the movement may not like some of kamala harris' positions from her record or her time as district attorney in california, she can certainly claim part of that mantle. >> not only that. but i think most people are smart enough to recognize evolution. even when kamala harris, you go back to her days as district attorney. there were certain men in law enforcement who wouldn't even speak to her because she was a black woman. so they would only speak to individuals who worked for her. and so it was very difficult for her as she rose through the ranks. but none of that was something that deterred her. i remember when i got a phone call from kamala when she was pulling out of the race. and she was telling me that she can't have us going out here advocating for her without the resources necessary to compete. and i said, well, senator harris, if you recall, it was right before the debate, and i remember she kind of auntied me. sea shade sometimes you have to put other people before your own
interest. this is not about me, this is what's best for the country. i cannot go forward. but she said we are going to still stay in the game. we are going to still stay in the battlefield and we are going to fight for what joe biden calls the soul of this great nation. so i'm happy that we're at this moment. but there were a lot of us who pushed for her. there were a lot of us who did that advocacy and did that work. we wrote a lot of checks, anderson. and so now it's incumbent upon people to go out and make sure that we are cashing those checks, making sure that we're in the streets doing the work. there were 4 million black people who voted for barack obama in 2012 who did not vote in 2016. i guarantee you kamala harris is going to slice into that percentage. many of those are african-american. >> let's bring in abby phillips. the historic nature we've been talking about it with bakari. i'm wondering what you make of how this changes things.
>> it's hard to say how a vp pick in general changes things in the overall scheme of things. i do think this is a key moment though for black people in this country to see black women in a place of prominence after many, of shirley chisholm. i think people really see this as a key moment for that kind of progress that bakari was talking about. so, yeah, in that respect i think everything has changed from that perspective. you're seeing black women in the democratic party incredibly emotional in this moment because this has been a long time coming. and i also do think that this is also not just about right now. it is about the future. it's what joe biden is saying about how he thinks the future of the democratic party is going to look in this pick of kamala harris. he is effectively anointing his
successor, joe biden, if he is elected, would be the oldest president in american history. so inevitably, the person he chooses as his vice president is going to be the person who has to take on that mantle. that's an important decision for him to make and for him to choose a black woman in that respect i think means a lot to folks. but i also think we have to look a little bit broader here. kamala harris, if you look back at the democratic primary, it was not just support among black people or black women that mattered. it was also her support among women in general. women in the suburbs, women in their middle ages who have also become critical to the democratic party's success in the midterm elections in 2018 and going on into the future. these are the people who are part of this coalition. and that is also who kamala harris reaches out to. i do want to give an important shoutout here, anderson. kamala harris is the daughter of a south asian woman.
she is also making history in that respect. it's really critical to remember that because it crosses across demographic lines here. this pick from a historic perspective means a lot to black women, it means a lot to hbcus. it means a lot to south asian people in this country. and i think that for that reason alone, this is putting politics aside a moment in history that i think stands out in the course of american history. >> it's interesting that you mentioned hbcus. because kamala harris went to howard university. the trump administration, donald trump often mentions historically black colleges and things that he said that his administration has done for them. it'll be interesting to see kamala harris actually having attended howard university, how she responds, again, if that's brought up and just in this campaign. >> it will be interesting to see. i mean, look, the trump campaign
has been arguing that president trump has done more for black people than any other president except for abraham lincoln. but in kamala harris they have someone who is steeped in the culture of black america. she went to a historically black college. she is an, aka, she is a member of a historically black sorority. she truly is a part of that culture. and not just because of the color of her skin or because her father was a jamaican-american. and so i think it is going to be very difficult for the trump campaign to use superficial arguments to boost trump's record with black americans in the face of someone who is much more fluent in the needs of the black community. and it's not just -- representation is important, but it's not just that. when you look at kamala harris' record, particularly over the last several months, you can see what she's been doing on capitol
hill in the senate. she's been putting forward bills about the racial disparity in covid. she's been putting forward bills about black female mortality. these are all things that i think have been part of her pitch to the biden campaign to say this is not just about representation, this is also about what her record is in terms of actually putting forward policy that impacts the black community. so, it's going to be interesting, but when we see especially going up on a debate stage we were just talking about that against mike pence, that's when these issues will really come to bear. she may not be toe to toe with donald trump as she might've liked to be running for the democratic nomination. but she will be toe to toe with mike pence. it'll be interesting to see how they stack up on those issues. >> let's bring in -- abby, thank you. i want to bring in david gregory as well. david, we're also going to be watching how the biden campaign deploys and uses kamala harris
again in a campaign that we really have no idea what any kind of campaign is going to look like. >> right. and she's not a typical retail campaigner. she's run for president but she's also senator from california, which is such a big state that so much running for election there is done on television rather than hand to hand as a retail politician. a lot has been said about the historic nature of this choice. that's obviously so important. i think that from an electoral point of view, the statement that joe biden makes here is very important. this is not youth and vibrance that he is projecting. and he can do that with kamala harris. with a woman and a woman of color, someone who can reflect the future of the country, the future of the party. he sends that strong statement. at the same time, i don't think
we've said enough in the past couple of hours that in my view this was a very safe choice. this wasn't surprising. this was the conventional wisdom. i think there is a reason for that. i don't think joe biden wants a surprise. john mccain wanted a surprise. that's why he chose sarah palin and it worked for a while until it didn't anymore. here, joe biden wants to keep the focus on trump and what people think of trump. he's in the lead in the polls. he doesn't want to shock the campaign. he wants to avoid a mistake. and there's something else too, which is i think about what did joe biden mean for then senator obama? well, he shored up his lack of experience. joe biden has plenty experience on the world stage and in washington. he needs to attract younger voters of color but he also wants someone who is not going to be seen as part of the radical left. i think he's achieved that. that said, she is still going to become a target. she attacked biden hard in that debate on busing, suggesting he
had views essentially a line with segregationists. that won't be forgotten by their opponents. joe biden may have forgotten. conservatives are going to try to make a big deal and suggest that she's a fake, that somehow she'll say or do anything. we'll see where they go with that criticism. but that's certainly coming. >> let's check in with jeremy diamond who's outside the white house. any reaction from the trump campaign thus far? >> reporter: yeah. i've talked to several trump campaign advisers who have made clear that kamala harris would certainly not have been their first choice in order if they were able to pick someone who they thought would've painted far more easily as part of that radical left. they are certainly making that attack. and one senior trump campaign aid told me that they actually believed that kamala harris is the perfect pick because this
person believes that kamala harris will show up biden with the energy that she brings to the ticket and make him look weak. of course, we know that using joe biden's age against him has certainly been a key point of the campaign's attack. that is sort of the from the trump campaign which came from the senior adviser. she says in her failed attempts at running for president, kamala harris gleefully embraced the manifesto calling for trillions in new taxes and backing bernie sanders' government takeover of health care. she's proved joe biden is an empty shell being fill wd the extreme agenda of the radicals on the left. you can see there anderson, even though it may be harder to paint harris as someone part of the radical left, they are still going to follow that path. in fact, they already leased a web video that goes after her on
those same points. now as for the president, he tweeted out that video, but we haven't yet heard from him directly talking about kamala harris, but we did hear from him this morning in an interview where he was talking about the impact of potential joe biden vice presidential pick. listen. >> pick a woman. >> he said that and you know, some people would say that men are insulted by that and some people would say it's fine. i don't know. i will say this. people don't vote for the -- this is history. this is history. we have a great vice president. mike pence has been incredible, actually. he's been a great vice president and done a really, really good job in everything i've given him, but people don't vote for the vice president. they really don't. in theory, it doesn't matter much, but maybe with him, it probably matters much more than it does for the obvious reason. >> and you can see that the president seems to be trying to down play the impact that a vice presidential pick could have in
terms of boosting joe biden, but as recently as two weeks ago, the president said that kamala harris would be a fine choice as joe biden's pick and even during her presidential campaign, the president and his advisers viewed her as a formidable opponent. >> thanks very much. back to david gregory. david, not surprising. you know, what we're hearing from both the campaign and obviously the president. obviously that you know, it will develop their message in the weeks ahead. >> yeah. i don't really see it going that far. again, we're in such a unique circumstance here with the pandemic, with the racial unrest in the country, with so much unrest in our national life. the idea of you know attacking her as being too progressive or the idea of being part of the radical left, i don't think that's going to hold. there are going to be targets of opportunity.
even moderate democrats would say her views are a work in progress. she called for middle class tax cuts. she wouldn't commit to getting rid of private insurance. there's going to be elements of the left who don't support her. but look, the notion that people are going to think that joe biden is an empty suit who's going to be undually influenced by his vice presidential pick, i don't think that's the case. i think this is a, it's a safe pick. i think it gives him vie brans and energy and strength. yes, i think moments like vice presidential debate, she'll perform very well. she'll be attacked, but i think joe biden wanted to make this pick. this is his first presidentialal pick. and one last thing. if they become president and vice president, she becomes the future of the democratic party. that's a very important statement that was made today. >> yeah, thanks. to david's last point,
obviously, kamala harris has wants to have a future in politics. it's not clear obviously if president biden, vice president biden becomes president biden, what would happen about a second term? that remains to be seen, but it's clearly something she would be interested in as opposed to some of the other potential vice presidential candidates who they were considering who had made it clear they weren't really interested in trying to go for the top job. >> right. and she should be interested in going for the top job. if she ends up being vice president. we know she was interest ed in the top job. i want to go back to something david said. this idea that joe biden picking a woman of color is a safe choice, i wholeheartedly disagree. if you know anything about
racism, sexism, and you've been on the other end of those very powerful forces in american history and certainly in american, political history, then we know that this isn't a safe choice. if you look around, how many black women ceos are there? how many black women governors are there? none. how many black women senators? how many black women bosses have any of us had, really, so this idea that this is safe and conventional is just not true. there's a reason it hasn't happened before. to say that yeah, you're right. the, it's going to be fascina fascinating again. i'm so curious as to see how, what this campaign looked like. you've covered campaigns before. what are they going to do?
sh>> she's good at creating big moments. the committee hearings. she understands, moments, she understands -- >> sorry. i got to go. >> not reach a deal with congress. >> we are not allow thag to happen. we're stopping evictions. we are not going to let that happen. the democrats, maybe they don't care, but i care and we signed an executive offer. order. you know that, right? and we are not letting people be evicted. >> thank you. thank you. if i could have two questions. i'd like to ask you one about senator harris' record then a different one. >> sure. z >> regarding senator harris' record, you had a good response
and said she was a phony and -- >> a what? >> phony and i wanted to ask you about -- san francisco da, she oversaw according to the mercury news, 1900 marijuana convictions, but she was asked in an interview last year if she smoked marijuana and said she was listening to snoop dogg and tupac. she said she was smoking pot listening to it. why would she lie about that? more evidence, a liability? >> she said -- a person that's told many, many stories that weren't true. she's very big into raising taxes. she wants to slash funds for our military at a level that nobody would believe.
she's against fracking. she's against petroleum products. how do you do that and go into pennsylvania or ohio or oklahoma or the great state of texas? she's against fracking. fracking's a big deal. she's in favor of socialized medicine. where you're going to lose your doctors. lose your plans. she wants to take your health care plans away from 180 million americans. 180 million americans that are very happy with their health insurance. and shemts to take that away. so she was my number one pick. she was, as they would say, because hopefully, she was my number one draft pick. and we'll see how she works out. she did very, very poorly in the primaries as you know. she was expected to do well. and she was, she ended up right around 2%.
and spent a lot of money. she had a lot of things happening and so i was a little surprised that he picked her. i've been watching her for a long time and i was a little surprised. she was extraordinarily nasty to kavanaugh. judge kavanaugh then. now justice kavanaugh. to a level that was just a horrible thing the way she was. the way she treated now justice kavanaugh. and i won't forget that soon. so she did very poorly in the primaries and now she's chosen so let's see how that works out. >> because she -- so many people in the past. >> i can't tell you what she's voting for. i don't think she knows what. i think joe knows even less. i was really surprised at the pick. a lot of people were saying that might be the pick. i was more surprised than anything else because she did so poorly. many people did much better than her in the primaries. that's like a poll. you know. that's like a poll.
>> i want to ask you about -- president trump, yes, about -- now it's widely accepted among republicans -- the justice department -- we were actually formed in 2013 at the surveillance court was -- approving surveillance. i don't think as president you caught on to edward snowden, but do you think he should be allowed? >> so, as far as the abuse is concerned, there was tremendous pfizer abuse. it's amazing it's taken this long. it's been proven very substantially. putting documents in front of the fi srsa court. in courts that are disgraceful that they could have done it and the fact is, we caught joe biden, president obama, the whole group, you can