Joe Biden named Kamala Harris as his running mate on Tuesday to help him defeat President Donald Trump this November, a historic choice that acknowledges the role black voters will play in the election.
Harris, 55, is the first black woman to have the number two spot on the Democratic ticket. In choosing her, Biden picked a former rival for the nomination who gained admiration for her campaign skills and was a top contender for the vice presidential nomination as soon as her own bid ended.
Biden informed supporters of his choice via text message and social media posts as speculation mounted over the past few days his choice was imminent.
‘I have the great honor to announce that I’ve picked @KamalaHarris – a fearless fighter for the little guy, and one of the country’s finest public servants – as my running mate,’ Biden wrote on Twitter.
‘Together, with you, we’re going to beat Trump,’ read the text message from the campaign.
The two will make an appearance Wednesday in Wilmington, Delaware.
‘I’m honored to join him as our party’s nominee for Vice President, and do what it takes to make him our Commander-in-Chief,’ Harris wrote on Twitter after her announcement.
Democrats rallied around Biden’s choice with tributes to Harris pouring in from her rivals for the running mate slot and from the most famous names in the party.
‘Joe Biden nailed this decision,’ former President Barack Obama said in a statement. ‘Choosing a vice president is the first important decision a president makes.’
Obama has known Harris, who serves as a senator from California, for years. She was an early supporter of his 2008 presidential campaign and he offered her the Attorney General spot in his administration when she was California’s top cop but she turned down the chance to lead the Justice Department.
‘Joe has an ideal partner to help tackle the very real challenges America faces right now and the year ahead,’ Obama said and concluded with: ‘Now let’s go win this thing.’
At the White House however, Donald Trump called Harris ‘nasty,’ said he was surprised that Biden would pick someone who was ‘disrespectful’ to him and assailed her calling her ‘the most liberal senator.’ His campaign called her ‘phony,’ although when he was asked about that description he said ‘oh,’ suggesting he might not have been aware of the attack.
The Democratic ticket became formalized during a time of economic turmoil, racial unrest and as the coronavirus pandemic continues to ravish the country, infecting more than 5 million Americans and killing more than 150,000 people.
Trump has received poor ratings from voters in his handling of the pandemic and race relations, which many see as giving Biden an opening to win the White House. Biden leads Trump in most national polls.