Vice President Kamala Harris’ low approval ratings are in part due to “sexism and racism,” former White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain said in a Thursday interview.
Harris has faced critical media reports, tepid endorsements from fellow Democrats, underwater polling numbers and an exodus of staffers. President Joe Biden, who announced his reelection campaign Tuesday, has said she will be his running mate in 2024.
“Well, I do think sexism and racism are part of the problem, no question about it. I think she was not as well known in national politics before she became vice-president. And I think that she hasn’t gotten the credit for all that she’s done,” Klain told Kara Swisher.
“She’s done a lot of very hard work and been very successful as vice-president. And I think hopefully during the campaign season, the American people will get more of a chance to see her on the stump and get to know her a little better,” he added. (RELATED: Biden Team Tries To Shore Up Kamala’s Popularity Amid Low Numbers)
Part of the reason behind Harris’ low approval is because “she takes a lot of grief unjustifiably.”
“I think … being a vice-president is a very, very tough job. Because this is a country that always thinks dubiously about someone who’s the No. 2. We’re a No. 1 kind of country. I lived with that when Al Gore and Joe Biden were vice-president. She makes a major contribution to the administration, and I think hopefully she’ll get more and more recognized for that,” Klain continued.
The Biden team is attempting to bolster support for Harris in the president’s reelection campaign, putting her front and center in his announcement video and campaign website. Senior West Wing official Anita Dunn has also reportedly been tasked with getting Harris more favorable assignments.
Harris was assigned to handle migration issues, but she did not hold any public events on the topic for seven months, and then she heavily pivoted to abortion after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June 2022.