Some allies of President Biden don’t sound thrilled about how Vice President Kamala Harris’ first foreign trip went.
The vice president’s trip to Guatemala and Mexico is being viewed by allies of the president, as well as some people close to Harris herself, as a “disaster,” The Hill reported.
The allies, in particular, reportedly felt that Harris seemed unprepared for questions about why she hasn’t been to the southern border in an interview with NBC News’ Lester Holt.
“It wasn’t great,” a Biden ally told The Hill. “A little cringeworthy too. I don’t know how they weren’t preparing for these questions.”
Another ally said “it was terrible,” while Democratic strategist Christy Setzer told The Hill that her comments were “clumsy,” and The Hill wrote that they “left almost everyone shaking their heads inside and outside the White House.” When Holt noted in the NBC interview that “you haven’t been to the border,” Harris shot back, “And I haven’t been to Europe. I don’t understand the point that you’re making.”
“The White House’s lead spokesperson on immigration should be able to talk about the root causes of migration and what’s happening at the border without getting defensive or handing the opposition an infinitely replayable soundbite,” Setzer told The Hill.
The Biden allies also pointed to comments Harris made at a press conference telling migrants “do not come” to the border, and they overall felt that statements made by the vice president gave critics “an easy talking point,” The Hill wrote.
Politico also reported that while Harris’ aides and allies “tell us she did what she was supposed to do” during the trip, “on the politics,” they do “admit her performance could have been smoother.” One White House official argued to Politico, though, “The trip was a success. Was there one moment in one interview that is taken out of context and being used? Yes, but she did what she came to do.”
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