Vice President Kamala Harris said she would “proudly” run with President Biden again if he seeks re-election — and backed his comments branding “MAGA Republicans” as a threat to the country.
“The president has been very clear that he plans to run again,” Harris said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” in an interview that aired Sunday. “And if he does, I will be running with him proudly.”
She defended Biden’s recent characterization of “MAGA” — or former President Donald Trump’s Make America Great Again movement — as a growing menace that directly endangers the county’s political institutions.
Biden, during a pair of Midwest stump speeches last week, slammed “Trumpies” and “MAGA Republicans.” The speeches came just days after a politically charged primetime address that described “MAGA” political forces as a threat to American democratic values.
He faced criticism that he was playing “divider in chief,” with former New York Gov. George Pataki saying in an interview on WABC 770 AM on Sunday, the 21st anniversary on the 9/11 terror attacks, that Biden was not fostering togetherness with his politically charged comments.
“We’re not going to survive as a country if we keep blaming each other and pointing fingers,” he told host John Catsimitidis on the “Cats Roundtable.” “We have to reclaim that sense of unity. We need to have a leader who’s looking to inspire and unite us, and not divide us for cheap, political short-term benefit like we have today.”
The Republican — who was in office during the attacks — said that the nation is now more fractured than ever.
“The lesson … we have to learn is that there’s no Republican future or Democrat future. There’s an American future. When we stand together, we can do anything,” he said. “When we’re pointing fingers at each other, it’s hard to move forward.”
Harris, meanwhile, said the president has a demonstrable record of bipartisanship, but argued that the current climate calls for a unified front against fringe elements.
“There are moments in time when we have to also agree, all good people who care about our country, that there are those who right now are vividly not defending our democracy,” she on “Meet the Press.” “And I think we want that our commander in chief, that the president of the United States, will speak up and raise the alarm about what this means to our strength and our future, much less our integrity.”
Asked to compare the external and internal terror threats in light of Sunday’s 21st anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks, Harris characterized them as distinct but comparably serious.
“They’re very different,” she said. “Each are dangerous and extremely harmful. But they’re different.”
Recalling her time in Congress, the former California senator said she and her colleagues set partisanship aside when confronting international terror threats.
“When i think about what we’ve been seeing in terms of attacks from within, I wish we would approach it the same way,” she said. “As Americans. instead of through some partisan lens.”
The vice president said deepening domestic fissures are undermining the nation’s international standing.
“We hold ourselves out to be a role model. which means the rest of the world — like any role model — watches what we do to see if it matches up with what we say,” she said.
In her first extended interview in months, Harris asserted that “election deniers” and those who minimize the January 6 insurrection send a message that the country no longer respects the “sanctity” of American institutions.
While questions about her White House role and relationship with Biden have persisted, Harris said the two have become close.
“We talk about family a lot,” she said “We talk about our hopes, we talk about our dreams, we talk about the things that concern us, that worry us. The things that keep us excited about everything we are doing.”