Democrats in the Senate are offering only mild support for Vice President Kamala Harris following media reports questioning her political abilities and competence, and that includes Sen. Joe Manchin, a moderate from West Virginia.
President Joe Biden has tasked Harris with managing a policy portfolio that encompasses election law and immigration, despite her withdrawal from the 2020 presidential primaries ahead of the Iowa caucuses. Some critics contend that Harris does not adequately prepare for various meetings and lacks sufficient political experience. Additionally, there are concerns that she may not win the 2024 presidential election if Biden were to be unable to seek another term in office, the Daily Caller reported.
Four Democratic or Independent senators declined to say whether they endorse Vice President Kamala Harris remaining on the executive ticket as vice president in 2024, while four others deferred their decision to President Biden. Nine senators offered their direct endorsement of Harris when asked in interviews with the Daily Caller.
Independent Maine Sen. Angus King, who has been a part of the Democratic caucus since entering Congress in 2013, refused to answer, telling the Daily Caller to “ask that question to a Democrat.”
“You’re asking the wrong person, I’m not a Democrat … I’m an Independent, so you should ask that question to a Democrat,” King said.
Two other senators — both of whom are facing tough reelection battles next year, Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Manchin — declined to back Harris when pressed.
“I don’t focus on things like that. I’m focused on East Palestine and there was just a Norfolk Southern death, and I’m much more interested in that than questions like that,” Brown said.
“I’m not talking about that, I’m sorry,” Manchin added. Previously he told NewsNation’s Chris Cuomo that he would be “for the right person when they’re running” for president, declining to back Biden by name.
Independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who also caucuses with Democrats, also declined to answer, asking, “Is that what we’re worried about?”
Another Democrat running in a state that Donald Trump won by double digits — Sen. Jon Tester of Montana — said “of course” he supports Harris staying on the ticket next year.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren stated that she would “of course” endorse Vice President Kamala Harris for vice president in 2024, describing her as “terrific.” Warren had previously deferred her endorsement decision to President Biden during a Boston radio interview but later changed her stance and provided a full endorsement. However, according to CNN, Harris has refused to return calls from her former 2020 rival.