CNN’s Jake Tapper called out Democratic Maryland Rep. Jamie Raskin on Thursday for dodging a question about Vice President Kamala Harris.
Former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi joined CNN on Wednesday night where she refused to answer whether Harris is the “best running mate” for President Joe Biden.
“[Biden] thinks so, and that’s what matters,” Pelosi told Anderson Cooper.
“But do you think she is the best running mate?” Cooper later pressed again.
“She’s the vice president of the United States. People say to me, ‘well why isn’t she doing this or that?’ I said it’s because she’s the vice president. That’s the job description — you don’t do that much,” Pelosi said.
Tapper said her comments were “not exactly a ringing endorsement.”
“Do you think Vice President Kamala Harris is the best running mate for President Biden? And what do you make of Speaker Pelosi’s answer there?” Tapper asked Raskin. (RELATED: Kamala Harris Says She Would Be Prepared To ‘Take Over’ As President Amid Biden’s Age Concerns)
“I mean, there doesn’t seem to be anything wrong with that answer. Obviously, President Biden, Vice President Harris, Speaker Pelosi, for that matter, all of us have been laboring under just a deluge of propaganda, disinformation, and criticism by the MAGA right. This is a rule-or-ruin faction which takes the position that if they’re not going to be able to control the direction of government, they are going to throw grease in the gears to try to shut everything down,” Raskin said. “And what we’re all dealing with right now is this impending September 30th deadline because the MAGA right wants to shut down—”
“Congressman, you are doing what Speaker Pelosi did, which is not answering the question. Do you think Kamala Harris is the best running mate for President Biden?”
“Well, obviously, she gave the right answer. That’s President Biden’s choice, and I think she’s an excellent running mate for President Biden. You know, I don’t know what more needs to be said about that,” Raskin said. “There’s a very strong policy record to run on there, and I want to resist the tendency to try to trivialize all politics by making it just about personalities.”
“It’s not — no one’s making it about personalities. I mean, like, it’s just a simple question,” Tapper pressed. “Do you think Kamala Harris is the best running mate for President Biden? You said she’s excellent, that’s farther than Speaker Pelosi went, but do you think she’s the — I’m not trying to throw anything into turmoil. I actually think it’s a pretty simple question. Do you think Kamala Harris is the best running mate for President Biden? Yes or no?”
“I mean, I don’t know what else I can say other than she—”
“You could say yes,” Tapper pushed back.
“—would be excellent running mate and an excellent vice president,” Raskin continued. “I don’t know whether President Biden has named his running mate. We’re going to a convention next summer. It’s, you know, a year away from now, and we’re going to go through that process. So—”
“I mean, you say ‘I don’t know what I could say,’ the answer is, you could say, ‘yes.’ You could say, ‘yes, I think Kamala Harris is the best vice president and the best running mate for President Biden.’ That’s the answer you could be giving right now. Yes, she is.”
Raskin then said he hasn’t seen “public opinion polling” but thinks Harris would be an “excellent choice” based off her record before the interview ended.
Harris has struggled with low approval ratings, with former White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain attributing them to “sexism and racism.” Meanwhile Senate Democrats have been reluctant to give their support to Harris, with four Democratic or Independent senators declining to say whether they would endorse Harris running with Biden in 2024.