CNN Panel Rips Harris For Deflecting Questions During Town Hall

Mike Brest | Reporter

A CNN political reporter criticized Democratic California Sen. Kamala Harris on Tuesday afternoon for repeatedly deflecting policy questions during her town hall on the network the day before.

Maeve Reston and Josh Green of Bloomberg were on “CNN Newsroom with Brooke Baldwin” to discuss the network’s five town halls from Monday. The town halls featured Harris, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

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“If I may, Meave, because that dives into my question for you, being in California, you’ve been covering Senator Harris, Kamala Harris. This is sort of her go-to response when asked about a multitude of issues,” Baldwin stated.

Baldwin then aired multiple clips from the town hall where Harris responded to questions by saying she wants to have a “conversation” about the topic.

“But on the debate stage you have to respond in real-time,” Baldwin said, after airing four separate answers from Harris. “How many more times can a default answer be ‘we should have that conversation’? How many more times will that be sufficient?”

“I did write about that last night because that is what I call her ‘graceful dodge.’ She does this all of the time on the campaign trail when voters asked her questions where she’s not quite sure what position she will stake out yet but she wants to kind of convey the idea that she might be on your side,” Reston responded. “So you hear that phrase over and over again with her. And it’s part of her trademark caution that we’ve seen throughout her career and what, I think, could actually be a big problem for her going down the line.”

(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) speaks during a town hall meeting at Canyon Springs High School on March 1, 2019 in North Las Vegas, Nevada. Harris is campaigning for the 2020 Democratic nomination for president. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Reston continued, “Elizabeth Warren [and] Bernie Sanders, they just answer those questions flat-out last night, a lot of them. With Bernie Sanders, we even saw a potentially something that will come back to haunt him. But I don’t think that voters really like that kind of caution. They want someone to really lay out at least kind of what they are thinking and she often has gone back and looked at the polls and talked to advisers and is just careful about these kind[s] of questions. And is that what voters are going to want? I don’t know.”

Harris did provide a direct answer when she was asked about the potential impeachment of President Donald Trump when she said, “Congress should take the steps towards impeachment.”

She also provided a promise to sign an executive action on gun control if Congress could not come up with reform within the 100 days of her presidency.

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