Jill Biden complained about husband choosing Kamala Harris as running mate, book claims

Other claims in new account of administration’s first year include tensions between president and deputy’s teams

Andrew Naughtie
Tuesday 22 March 2022 16:06
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Kamala Harris asks Joe Biden ‘do you agree that you were wrong to oppose bussing in America?’

First Lady Jill Biden was apparently less than enthusiastic about Kamala Harris’ selection as her husband’s running mate, according to a new book reporting on the election and first year of the 46th president.

In This Will Not Pass: Trump, Biden, and the Battle for America’s Future, which will be published in May, New York Times reporters Jonathan Martin and Alex Burns write that the then-candidate’s wife was unimpressed by Ms Harris’s criticism of her husband during a primary debate in 2019.

“There are millions of people in the United States,” they quote Ms Biden saying, according to an extract obtained by Politico. “Why do we have to choose the one who attacked Joe?”

Ms Biden’s reported umbrage at the California Democrat dated back to an encounter the two candidates had on a debate stage in which Ms Harris called him out for previously working with segregationist members of Congress in what he had nostalgically described as an era of political civility.

“I do not believe you are a racist. And I agree with you when you commit yourself to the importance of finding common ground,” Ms Harris said. “But I also believe – and it’s personal, and it was hurtful to hear you talk about the reputations of two United States senators who built their reputations and careers on the segregation of race in this country.”

Another book, last year’s Battle for the Soul: Inside the Democrats’ Campaigns to Defeat Trump, claims that Ms Biden was incensed by Ms Harris’s remarks. According to author Edward-Isaac Dovere, she later railed against the candidate to a group of supporters on a conference call.

“With what he cares about, what he fights for, what he’s committed to, you get up there and call him a racist without basis?” she is quoted as saying. “Go f*** yourself.”

The first lady’s team have reiterated that Ms Biden will not be commenting on either book, or any others.

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