Aug 23, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Key moments from Harris and Biden's first joint interview

Former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris presented a united front against President Trump, even as ABC's Robin Roberts and David Muir pushed them on topics of race and more.

The big picture: In one of the key moments during the early days of the Democratic primary race, Harris directly challenged Biden over busing and school segregation. When asked about that moment, Harris said, "There are real racial disparities that are rooted in systemic racism and a failure to address the truths that may be difficult truths. Joe Biden does that. And he is doing that. He is addressing these truths."

What they're saying

On picking Harris to be his vice president, Biden said he asked her what former President Barack Obama asked him: "I want you to be the last person in the room on every major decision because I know she will not be intimidated by the Oval Office."

  • Biden also said, "I didn't feel pressure to select a Black woman ... what I do think ... is that the government should look like the people, look like the country."
  • Harris said, "You know, we talk about what it means to be progressive. Joe really walks the talk. ... Joe, in selecting a woman of color to be his vice president, what an audacious move. The audacity of Joe Biden to actually just make that decision and then follow through on it."

On race and policing in the U.S., Harris defended Biden and said he has been "outspoken on those issues."

  • Biden responded to Trump's claims that he would defund the police and said he doesn't want to defund the police, but "I think they need more help. ... The vast majority of the police, they're ashamed of what they saw. But you have to take action, and it has to be national. ... I'm going to represent everyone, whether they voted for me or not."
Roberts: "So when you have a running mate who makes a comment like 'you ain't Black,' it leads some people to say, 'he just doesn't get it.'"
Harris: "Listen, when Joe and I talk about ... the state of America, he has a deep sense of awareness and knowledge about racial disparities, inequities and systematic racism. And Joe speaks the words and actually knows how to say the words 'Black Lives Matter.'
Contrary to what ... the current president of the United States does, which is to sow hate and division full-time and has never spoken those words and will never speak the words 'Black Lives Matter.'"

On the issue of the U.S. Post Office, Harris said, "I don't necessarily believe anything that [Postmaster General Louis DeJoy] has said when he says that what he has done has had no effect."

  • House Democrats have raised flags over changes DeJoy made to the USPS, which he has since said won't be in effect till after the election. They worry these changes could cause further delays in delivering the mail.

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