Mar 8, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Kamala Harris endorses Joe Biden

Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Former presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris endorsed Joe Biden for president on Sunday, saying in a tweet that he "has served our country with dignity and we need him now more than ever."

Why it matters: It's yet another endorsement of Biden from a former presidential candidate and an especially significant one considering that Harris' attacks on Biden over his support for busing in the first Democratic debate were viewed at the time as a massive blow.

  • Harris said during the opening debate that she doesn't believe Biden is a racist, but skewered him for speaking fondly about his time working with segregationist senators.
  • "There was a little girl in California who was part of the second class to integrate her public schools, and she was bused to school every day," Harris famously said. "That little girl was me."
  • The viral moment led to a surge for Harris in the polls and a dip for Biden, who fumbled his response and seemed ill-prepared for the debate. In the end, however, it was Harris who dropped out in December and Biden who is now on pace to win the nomination.

What she's saying:

"One of the things that we need right now is we need a leader who really does care about the people and who can therefore unify the people. And I believe Joe can do that. I am supporting Joe because I believe that he is a man who has lived his life with great dignity. He is a public servant who has always worked for the best of who we are as a nation, and we need that right now. There is so much at stake in this election, guys."
— Kamala Harris

The big picture: Biden has received endorsements from at least nine former candidates as the moderate wing of the Democratic party has consolidated around him, including Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar, Beto O'Rourke and Mike Bloomberg.

  • Bernie Sanders has so far gained endorsements from former candidates Marianne Williamson and Bill de Blasio.

Of note: Harris, who is viewed as a possible pick for vice president, said she will appear with Biden at a rally in Detroit on March 9, one day before Michigan's Democratic primary.

  • A win for Biden in Michigan would likely be a knockout blow to his rival Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Go deeper

Cory Booker endorses Joe Biden

Photo: Michael Brochstein/Echoes Wire/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Cory Booker endorsed Joe Biden for president in a tweet on Monday, saying the former vice president will "show there's more that unites us than divides us."

Why it matters: Booker's approval is yet another endorsement for Biden from a former presidential candidate and the second from a black competitor for the White House. Sen. Kamala Harris endorsed the former vice president on Sunday.

Sanders says he's staying in race, looks forward to debating Biden

Bernie Sanders said at a press conference Wednesday that he will not suspend his presidential campaign after a second consecutive week of bruising primary losses to Joe Biden, telling reporters that he looks forward to Sunday's one-on-one debate.

Why it matters: Sanders' path to the nomination narrowed significantly after Biden built up his delegate lead in most of the states that voted Tuesday — including the key prize of Michigan, where Sanders' surprise win over Hillary Clinton in 2016 gave him a needed boost of momentum.

Debate night: Sanders and Biden go head-to-head

Photo: MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images.

Sunday's Democratic debate was the primary season's first one-on-one match, with former Vice President Joe Biden taking on Sen. Bernie Sanders on the coronavirus, the "political revolution," women's health, climate, the rise of authoritarianism around the world and minority voter support.

Why it matters: It could be the last primary debate of the 2020 election. Biden is significantly leading in delegates and poised to do well in upcoming nominating contests. He's also adopted more progressive policies from Sanders and former 2020 contender Sen. Elizabeth Warren to draw in their supporters.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Mar 16, 2020 - Politics & Policy