President Joe Biden is frustrated with Vice President Kamala Harris being unable to “rise to the occasion” and concerned about her electoral viability as his potential successor, Reuters reports.
Biden believes Harris would not defeat former President Donald Trump in a general election, which influenced his decision to run for a second term, according to Reuters.
“If he did not think she was capable, he would not have picked her. But it is a question of consistently rising to the occasion,” a former White House official told the outlet. “I think his running for re-election is less about her and more about him, but I do think that she and the Democratic bench [are] a factor.” (RELATED: Kamala Harris ‘Impossible To Manage’ Because Of ‘Deep, Deep Insecurity,’ New Book Claims)
Dem sources say Biden has frustrations about some of VP’s work. He’s convinced neither Harris nor any other Dem hopefuls would beat Trump if he is GOP nominee, Reuters reports.
At Obamacare event, Biden: “Kamala I want to thank you for everything you’ve done to defend this law.” https://t.co/2Bkyo3tHGu
— Jennifer Jacobs (@JenniferJJacobs) March 23, 2023
The former White House official also believes Biden cannot replace Harris on his 2024 ticket. “You cannot replace your first Black woman vice president and think that Black people and women are going to just vote for you,” the official said. “He needs her.”
Biden has also been frustrated with Harris’ inability to take on major policy assignments, Reuters reported.
“A point of tension in their relationship is that I don’t think that the president sees her as somebody who takes anything off of his plate” because of her “fear of messing up,” a second former White House official told the outlet.
Former senior adviser to the president Cedric Richmond told Reuters that Biden and Harris get along well. “They have a great relationship. He leans on her a lot,” he said. “People consistently underestimate both of them, and they consistently prove people wrong.”
A third former White House official defended Harris’ policy work on abortion and immigration. “Joe Biden is clear where he stands on the issue. I think it’s also been a difficult issue for him to be, you know, talking about it in the way that the vice president could,” the official said.
The third former official said reducing border crossings “was not her assignment” and “[t]here was a team whose assignment it was.” Harris has made one trip to the U.S.-Mexico border since she was made Biden’s border czar.
Biden will reportedly enlisting Harris to campaign across the country for his reelection campaign when he announces his run. She will focus on abortion, climate and protecting Medicare and Social Security in trips to urban areas.
The president has publicly stood by Harris and says she will be his running mate for his reelection campaign. “She’s going to be my running mate, number one,” Biden said in January, per Politico. “And number two, I did put her in charge. I think she’s doing a good job.”