(Video Credit: MSNBC)
Vice President Kamala Harris claimed in an interview that aired over the weekend that the United States can no longer claim to be a “role model” for democracies around the world if Congress does not pass what amounts to a federal takeover of historically state-run elections.
Harris’ remarks to CBS News’ Margaret Brennan during Sunday’s “Face the Nation” come after Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) torpedoed President Biden’s massive “Build Back Better” legislation and Democratic leaders in the Senate now appear to be pivoting towards what they are calling “voting rights” legislation that the vice president was asked to spearhead over the summer.
“In the days and weeks ahead, I will engage the American people, and I will work with voting rights organizations, community organizations, and the private sector to help strengthen and uplift efforts on voting rights nationwide. And we will also work with members of Congress to help advance these bills,” she said in June, going on to claim that voting rights were “under assault.”
She then urged lawmakers to pass two pieces of legislation — the For the People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, both of which Republicans have denounced as a Democratic attempt to override state voting laws designed to ensure electoral integrity.
In her interview, Harris claimed to Brennan that if Congress failed to pass the bills, the U.S. would no longer be seen as a model for other democracies.
“We have been a role model saying, ‘You can see this and aspire to this and reject autocracies and autocratic leadership,'” Harris said in the pre-recorded interview.
“Right now, we’re about to take ourselves off the map as a role model if we let people destroy one of the most important pillars of a democracy, which is free and fair elections,” she charged.
Harris noted further that though most Americans do not consider voting rights to be “urgent,” she believes the more the Biden administration focuses on the issue, the more people will see that states are “suppressing the right of the American people to vote.”
During the interview, Harris also took aim at some Democrats who have said that she was “set up to fail” by the White House.
“No, I don’t believe I’m being set up to fail,” she said.
“I’m the vice president of the United States,” she told Brennan. “Anything that I handle is because it’s a tough issue, and it couldn’t be handled at some other level.
“And there are a lot of big, tough issues that need to be addressed, and it has actually been part of my lifelong career to deal with tough issues – and this is no different,” she claimed.
Brennan asked at one point: “What do you think, as you come to the end of this first year, what do you think your biggest failure has been at this point?”
“To not get out of D.C. more,” Harris said, breaking into her characteristic laugh.
“I mean, and I actually mean that sincerely for a number of reasons,” she noted further. “You know, I, we, the president and I came in, you know, COVID had already started. It was, the pandemic had started. And when we came in we really couldn’t travel.”
Earlier this month, Harris raised eyebrows when she clashed with “The Breakfast Club” co-host Charlamagne Tha God, losing her temper when he suggested that President Biden was not really in charge.
The exchange added to a reputation the VP has of being off-putting and unlikeable, which is also likely leading to her plunge in approval ratings, all of which come as high-profile staffers continue to bail on her.
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