'Our values are shared by majority of American people': Kamala Harris
Washington, Oct 25: Democratic vice presidential candidate Senator Kamala Harris has said her party's views on issues like healthcare and the coronavirus pandemic are shared by a majority of Americans, flaying President Donald Trump for an "utter failure" of leadership and refusing to condemn white supremacy.
Deflecting President Trump’s remarks, who described her as a "female socialist", Harris, 56, said she and former vice president Joe Biden, the Democratic presidential candidate, are proud American patriots.
"Joe Biden and I are proud American patriots. And the reality is that the values that we have, I think, are shared by the majority of the American people," Harris told reporters on Cleveland, where she was campaigning on Saturday. She was responding to a question on Trump’s statement a day earlier.
"We're not going to be a socialist nation. We're not going to have a socialist president, especially a female socialist president. We're not going to have it. We're not going to put up with it," Trump said at a rally in Pensacola, Florida on Friday. "When you look at what we all want in terms of knowing people have access to health care, especially in a pandemic ... he's trying to get rid of the Affordable Care Act, we're trying to expand it. Our values are about saying we need to lift up working people," Harris said.
"Meanwhile, Donald Trump measures the success of the economy based on how rich people are doing and how the stock market is doing," she said. Later addressing her supporters at Cuyahoga Community College, Harris talked about the crisis of systemic racism. "So we're in the midst of a public health crisis, an economic crisis, and a long overdue reckoning on racial injustice in America. And on this issue, let's be clear, again two very clear choices,” she said.
"On the one hand you have Joe Biden, who has the courage and the commitment and the knowledge of America's history to speak the term 'Black Lives Matter.' On the other hand you have a Donald Trump, who will never speak those words," she said.
"You have a Donald Trump who stood on that debate stage and refused to condemn white supremacists and then doubled down and said, 'Well, stand back and stand by.' And then people say, 'Well, you know do you think he's a racist?'" Harris said.
The audience laughed at the question, prompting Harris to say, "Yes." "Because you see, we are not just looking at one-off comments, we're looking at a pattern. This is the same dude who challenged the legitimacy of the first black president of the United States," she said. As she concluded her day of hectic campaigning, Harris told reporters that probably one of the highest and biggest concerns is what's happening in terms of the surge around the COVID-19 cases.
"And they want to know that we have a plan. They want to know that there is going to be some adherence to safe plans around not only modelling good behaviour but also what we're going to do to get control of the virus around testing, contact tracing, distribution of a vaccine when we get a safe one, And then the economy. I mean one in six Ohio small businesses has shut down,” she said.
"These are real issues, big issues, and with no relief in sight," Harris added. So that's what they want to know there is going to be some leadership that sees them and understands what they are struggling with right now, she said, adding that people are struggling with the basics, struggling with health care, with rent, and with putting food on the table.
“And Joe and I, you know, listen, I mean, we believe that there is a solution, but you have to have leadership in place that takes a firm grasp on what's going on, speaks truth to the American people, embraces science, and then implements the plan,” she said, adding that their plan is about testing and treatment and contact tracing.
"But it's also about getting the economy, working back up again, but doing that in a safe and a smart way instead of denying the existence of this virus and like Donald Trump did ... saying we're rounding the corner. You look at anything that all of you are publishing and reporting — everybody knows we are not rounding the corner. There's a fight that we're dealing with right now. And we've had an utter failure of leadership out of Donald Trump," Harris said.