Psaki dodges VP Harris’ disastrous record on policy with accusations of racism and sexism

White House press secretary Jen Psaki provided political cover for Vice President Kamala Harris during a Wednesday podcast in which she suggested that the veep’s cratering approval rating is not due to disagreements over policy but rather her political opposition to her sex and color of skin.

“I do think that it has been easier and harsher from some in the right wing who have gone after her because she is the first woman, the first woman of color. I’m not suggesting anyone will acknowledge that publicly,” she said during an appearance on Politico’s “Women Rule” program.

She went on to say that it’s a heavy burden for Harris to bear, being the “first African American, woman of color, Indian American woman to serve in this job.” Psaki added that Harris “wants to be seen” more as a trusted expert adviser to President Joe Biden.

Harris’ mother, Shyamala Gopalan, is from India; her father, Donald Harris, is from Jamaica.

“I mean, so many firsts, right? It’s a lot to have on your shoulders,” Psaki continued. “She is somebody who, at a much higher level than the rest of us, but who wants to be seen as the talented, experienced, you know, expert, substantive policy person, partner to the president, that she is.

“But I do think there have been some attacks that are beyond because of her identity,” Psaki added without elaborating.

The press secretary’s defense of Harris comes as support for her and Biden has collapsed. A USA Today/Suffolk University survey released earlier this month found the president’s approval rating had tanked to 38 percent, but the veep’s rating was much worse at just 28 percent.

Early on, she was tasked by Biden with finding solutions to the then-burgeoning illegal migrant crisis along the U.S.-Mexico border, but for months she refused to even visit and when she did, she went to El Paso, a sector that had not seen a substantial influx of illegal crossings. Those were occurring in sectors of the border hundreds of miles away.

Also, Harris has been dogged by recent reports citing White House officials in the know who say she and her staff have a tumultuous relationship and that she is often at odds with other members of Biden’s administration, some of whom seem to have written her off for the time being.

“Worn out by what they see as entrenched dysfunction and lack of focus, key West Wing aides have largely thrown up their hands at Vice President Kamala Harris and her staff — deciding there simply isn’t time to deal with them right now, especially at a moment when President Joe Biden faces quickly multiplying legislative and political concerns,” CNN reported last week.

“The exasperation runs both ways,” the outlet continued, citing dozens of people who spoke to CNN exclusively.

“Many in the vice president’s circle fume that she’s not being adequately prepared or positioned, and instead is being sidelined. The vice president herself has told several confidants she feels constrained in what she’s able to do politically. And those around her remain wary of even hinting at future political ambitions, with Biden’s team highly attuned to signs of disloyalty, particularly from the vice president,” the report added.

But liberals took offense with the reporting from the reliably left-wing network. Author Don Winslow labeled it “racist and misogynistic,” while former Democratic congressional nominee Pam Keith declared, “The reason Kamala Harris is being attacked is because she is a Black woman in high office… and many many people who would swear they aren’t racist or sexist, can only cope with and accept Black women, if they are in subordinate roles.”

Psaki also defended Harris against the article.

“For anyone who needs to hear it. @VP is not only a vital partner to @POTUS but a bold leader who has taken on key, important challenges facing the country — from voting rights to addressing root causes of migration to expanding broadband,” she tweeted.

Missy Halsey


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