Appearing together a their first campaign event since Joe Biden picked the California to be his running mate, Ms Harris paid tribute to the former vive president’s late son, Beau Biden, with whom she enjoyed a close relationship.
“He was the best of us,” she said, having travelled to Wilmington, Delaware, where Mr Biden’s son had served as the state’s attorney general.
It was while she was serving in the same role in California, and dealing with banks during the foreclosure crisis, that she got to know Mr Biden’s eldest son, who died from a brain tumour in 2015. Reports said the relationship was one of the factors that helped the former vice president select her for the role.
But while Mr Harris, 55, made sure to pay tribute to Beau Biden and Mr Biden’s wife, Dr Jill Biden, she reserved much of her time speaking to criticse Donald Trump.
“We’re reeling from the worst public health crisis in a century,” she said, referring to the 160,000 people who have lost their lives in the US from the coronavirus pandemic.
“The president’s mismanagement of the pandemic has plunged us into the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.”
She added: “And we’re experiencing a moral reckoning with racism and systemic injustice that has brought a new coalition of conscience to the streets of our country, demanding change.”
Ms Harris, one of more than half-a-dozen women candidates being seriously considered by the 77-year-old Mr Biden to join his ticket, said the country was “crying out for leadership”.
“Yet we have a president who cares more about himself, than the people who elected him,” she added. “A president was making every challenge we face even more difficult to solve.”
She said: “But here’s the good news. We don’t have to accept the failed governments of Donald Trump and Mike Pence. In just 83 days, we have a chance to choose a better future for our country.”
Ms Harris focussed particularly on the president’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, which has now infected more than 5m Americans.
The president has been widely condemned for promoting unproven treatment and even the claims of conspiracy theorists. At the same time he has been accused of sidelining medical experts such as Dr Anthony Fauci.
Ms Harris said: “When other countries are following the signs, Trump pushed miracle cures he saw on Fox News.”
She said this was the result when the nation elected somebody who “just isn’t up to the job”.
She said: “Our country ends up in tatters. And so does our reputation around the world.”
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