Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump says he is ‘seriously’ considering a capital gains tax cut Why Joe Biden is in trouble Harris favored as Biden edges closer to VP pick MORE named Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisHarris favored as Biden edges closer to VP pick The Hill’s Campaign Report: LIVE: Trump from Gettysburg | The many unknowns of 2020 | Omar among those facing primary challenges Sens. Markey, Cruz clash over coronavirus relief: ‘It’s not a goddamn joke Ted’ MORE (D-Calif.) as his running mate on Tuesday, ending months of speculation over one of the most consequential decisions of his 2020 presidential bid.
Biden called Harris, a former rival in the Democratic primary, the best equipped to help him defeat President TrumpDonald John TrumpTeachers union launches 0K ad buy calling for education funding in relief bill FDA head pledges ‘we will not cut corners’ on coronavirus vaccine Let our values drive COVID-19 liability protection MORE and lead the nation out of the coronavirus pandemic, economic downturn and racial divide.
Harris, who is of African American and Indian descent, would be the first ever woman to be vice president if Biden is elected.
“These aren’t normal times. For the first time in our history, we’re facing three historic crises — all at the same time. We’re facing the worst pandemic in 100 years. The worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. The most powerful calls for racial justice in a generation. And we have a president who has both failed to lead on the virus — costing lives and decimating our economy — and fanned the flames of hate and division,” Biden said in an email to supporters announcing the VP pick.
“I need someone working alongside me who is smart, tough, and ready to lead. Kamala is that person,” he added.
Biden lauded Harris’s accomplishments, first as attorney general of California and later as a U.S. senator from the nation’s largest state. He called her “one of the toughest and most effective members of the two most important committees” in the upper chamber – the Intelligence and Judiciary Committees. Harris also sits on the Senate Intelligence Committee.
Biden praised Harris as a leader on criminal justice and marriage equality and said she has “focused like a laser” on racial disparities that have resulted from the pandemic.
Adding a personal touch, Biden said he first met Harris through his son Beau Biden, who died from brain cancer in 2015. At the time, Harris was attorney general of California and Beau was attorney general of Delaware.
“He had enormous respect for her and her work,” Biden said. “I thought a lot about that as I made this decision. There is no one’s opinion I valued more than Beau’s and I’m proud to have Kamala standing with me on this campaign.”
Back when Kamala was Attorney General, she worked closely with Beau. I watched as they took on the big banks, lifted up working people, and protected women and kids from abuse. I was proud then, and I’m proud now to have her as my partner in this campaign.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) August 11, 2020
Biden and Harris will officially accept the party’s nominations at the Democratic National Convention next week.
Harris will speak on Wednesday ahead of former President Obama. Biden will close out the event on Thursday night.
Biden’s choice came after months of internal deliberations and interviews with more than a dozen prospective candidates. Other contenders for the role included former national security adviser Susan Rice, Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenOvernight Health Care: Nearly 100,000 children tested positive for coronavirus over two weeks last month | Democrats deny outreach to Trump since talks collapsed | California public health chief quits suddenly On The Money: Administration defends Trump executive orders | CBO reports skyrocketing deficit | Government pauses Kodak loan pending review Harris favored as Biden edges closer to VP pick MORE (D-Mass.) and Michigan Gov. Gretchen WhitmerGretchen WhitmerThe Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by Facebook – Trump to Democratic negotiators: ‘They know my phone number’ Harris favored as Biden edges closer to VP pick Willie Brown: Kamala Harris should ‘politely decline’ any offer to be Biden’s running mate MORE (D).
Ultimately, Biden settled on a rising Democratic star and former presidential primary opponent, whom he once clashed fiercely with on the campaign trail.