WASHINGTON (AP) — Vice President Kamala Harris got into a testy exchange with media host Charlamagne Tha God Friday, defending President Joe Biden from questions over roadblocks to passage of his social spending package.
As a Harris aide attempted to end the interview, Charlamagne asked, “I want to know who the real president of this country is — is it Joe Biden, or Joe Manchin?” He repeated the question, eliciting from the vice president a dismayed, “C’mon, Charlamagne. It’s Joe Biden.”
“No, no, no, no,” Harris asserted. “It’s Joe Biden, and don’t start talking like a Republican, about asking whether or not he’s president.”
She ticked off a handful of administration accomplishments, like the expansion of the child tax credit and lead pipe replacement in the infrastructure law, and continued, “I hear the frustration, but let’s not deny the impact that we’ve had and agree also that there is a whole lot more work to be done.”
It was a notably sharper tone from Harris’ typically muted and on-message public appearances, where she rarely diverts from talking points or prepared remarks. But Charlamagne noted that the tone was more reminiscent of Harris’ public profile during her time in the Senate, when she rose to national prominence with her sharp questioning during Senate Judiciary Committee hearings.
“That Kamala Harris? That’s the one I like,” he said. “That’s the one I’d like to see out here more often in these streets.”