Perhaps the biggest moment in the first two Democratic debates last week was when Sen. Kamala Harris absolutely incinerated former Vice President Joe Biden by invoking her personal history as a means of shaming his record on desegregation.
Biden’s poor performance in the debate, and his subsequent drop in the polls, has sent his campaign spinning. Biden supporters have responded by going after Harris, and it has been messy.
Biden cronies shamed Harris as overly ambitious, accused her of aiding Trump, and suggested to Politico that she may have lost her slot on a hypothetical Biden-Harris ticket. (Sounds like a nightmare ticket to us, but what do we know!)
Now, Harris’ allies are fighting back, heightening the tension between the campaigns, and calling out what they see as sexism in the Biden campaign’s response, according to Politico.
Even those who support other campaigns have fired back at the Biden camp on behalf of Harris.
“Why couldn’t she be ambitious? She’s running for president of the United States,” Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman, told Politico. Watson Coleman is supporting Sen. Cory Booker’s campaign in 2020.
“It’s disingenuous for people to say she doesn’t have a right to speak to [her] experiences,” Watson Coleman added. “And it’s very interesting that as a black woman, how she speaking out on these issues becomes a louder issue for response than if a white man or someone else had spoken about their particular experiences and what impassions and motivates them to run.”
Others called the Biden camp’s reaction to Harris’ attack sexist.
“As a woman, I hear [Biden’s campaign’s remarks] as ‘who do you think you are? You need to wait your turn.’” Marguerite Willis, a former candidate for South Carolina governor, told Politico. “As a politician, I hear that as ‘Houston, we have a problem.’”
That prompted a third round of attacks, with Biden staffers pointing out that one of the people who criticized Harris was Carol Moseley Braun, the first black woman elected to the Senate.
Any argument that Harris somehow hurt herself by bringing up her childhood experience with desegregation during the debates falls flat when you look at the data. She has surged 9 points in the polls since May according to CNN, while Biden’s numbers fell 10 points. Harris has also raised $3.6 million from fundraisers in the last week.