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San Diegans React To Kamala Harris On The Presidential Ticket

 August 12, 2020 at 10:43 AM PDT

Speaker 1: 00:00 Presumptive democratic candidate, Joe Biden, and his running mate, Senator Kamala Harris will make their public debut in a news conference. We'll carry live on KPBS. Biden ended weeks of speculation. When he announced California's first term Senator and former state attorney general Harris would join him on the 2020 ticket a Biden Harris tickets seemed the obvious choice to many after Joe Biden declared. He choose a woman as his running mate, but Carla Harris has some spots on her record around the issue of criminal justice reform and even the settlement agreement at the San and ovaries shutdown that have made Progressive's hesitate to lend their whole hearted support. After a forceful debate performance against Joe Biden, moved her to the top ranks of candidates. A lack of campaign funds forced her to drop out of the presidential race, but now Kamala Harris is back in it making history as the first woman of color running for vice president on a major party ticket. Earlier today, we spoke with San Diego assembly woman, Shirley Webber about Carla Harris on the ticket Speaker 2: 01:08 African American woman. There's been so much discussion in the democratic party lately about how black women have always been the most loyal for the democratic party. And yet they've often been overlooked on black women. Speaker 1: 01:31 So joining us now is former candidate for San Diego County district attorney and community advocate, Genevieve Jones, right. And Genevieve, welcome to the program. Speaker 2: 01:41 Thank you so very much for having you Marie, Speaker 1: 01:43 As a black woman, what does it mean to you to have the first woman of color on the presidential tape? Speaker 2: 01:49 Good, for me, it is a historic moment. Of course, and personally, Camila Harris has been an inspiration to me. I think many people know now that I took on it heavily entrenched incumbent for district attorney in San Diego. And I watched Kamala Harris as a person who went to college in San Francisco and then a person who went down her path and asking myself the question, how can I do more to advance criminal justice? Camila Harris took on a very heavily entrenched incumbent district attorney in San Francisco and she pioneered the way. And so for me personally, I see her as a leader who has offered a blueprint for progressive district attorneys even now today. And she's just been a personal source of inspiration for me during my run and even after my run. So I am very delighted that she has been chosen as vice president. Biden's running mate, Speaker 1: 02:54 See the choice of Camila Harris as VP as, as maybe a symbol of the growing political power of black women in the democratic party. Speaker 2: 03:04 I sure hope that it is we're in 2020 as we celebrate 100 years of women's suffrage and we celebrate what we're calling the year of the woman. It cannot be lost on us that while women have rights of all black women, we're still disenfranchised. Black women have been the most loyal base for the democratic party. And this has been true time and time again, historically, and even now. So I hope that it is more than a symbol. I really do hope that this clears the way for other black women to come into positions of leadership all across this country. We know that when black women lead everyone rises, we are naturally nurturers. And that's what we have been from the very beginning of our place in America. And that cannot be overlooked. And so while this is a historic moment, we look to November 3rd and hope that she will get the seat and that many others will follow behind her. Speaker 1: 04:17 And what do you expect to see from Senator Harris as the campaign continues? Speaker 2: 04:22 I expect to see her continuing to be a great leader and a pioneer. I expect to see her take on a lot of the things that have been great challenges for all of us as a country, through the Trump administration. We've seen how she has confronted that administration on the Hill. We see why she is such a prominent prosecutor. She has this tenacity about her that I believe she will bring to the white house. Of course she has extensive experience statewide experience in all of the roles that she has played. And I do not expect for her to back down. I expect for her to continue to be a fearless advocate and just a wonderful human being who stays true to her values. Speaker 1: 05:15 I've been speaking with a former candidate for San Diego County district attorney and community advocate, Genevieve Jones. Right. Thank you so much for speaking with us. Thank you for having me and fed cows are joins us now, department chair and professor of political science at UC San Diego and fed welcome happy election season, Maureen, same to you. Has the excitement around the historic nature of naming a woman of color on a presidential ticket, has that neutralized some of the left wing criticism of Camila Harris? Speaker 2: 05:47 I think it has be. And it's also where we are in the election season and where we are in American politics. So comma Harris, wasn't the pick of progressive purists that was Speaker 3: 05:58 Clear during the primary. She took some criticism for taking positions as attorney general in a, in a state that was still transitioning from a tough on crime approach to a smart on crime approach. She took a lot of flack for taking positions that weren't unabashedly liberal or progressive. But I think if you're looking ahead towards a general election towards convincing moderate voters and towards, uh, countering a tough on crime message from president Trump, I think this is a pick that made a lot of sense for Joe Biden, but also will quell a lot of that criticism because her record is, is the right sort of record to be running on for national office in a general election. Speaker 1: 06:37 What does she bring to the ticket? Speaker 3: 06:39 I think CommonWell, hairspring's both a very strong political resume and a record of experience in, in the nation's biggest state she's been in office. She's been fully vetted by winning multiple statewide elections, but she also very importantly for Joe Biden, a 78 year old white male, she brings youth, she brings a connection to the diverse coalition that is now powering the democratic party. Um, you know, she's, she's a woman she's historic in many ways and, and that combined with her strong debate performance, uh, her aggressive, uh, take in, in senatorial hearings and many of her issue positions that made her a very clear pick for, for Joe Biden. Speaker 1: 07:25 Now, Tony Guevara he's chair of the San Diego County Republican party, uh, issued a statement about the Harris pick. And he said, quote, we congratulate Joe Biden on picking Camila Harris as a running mate, as she brings zero substance and lots of baggage, the main being the disastrous policies of California, which we'll go over like a lead balloon in key battleground States, unquote. So is it your take that Harris has a potential liability in battleground States? Speaker 3: 07:55 That's the big question. I think for many of the voters who Joe Biden is looking to energize and mobilize in battleground States, the California example is one they see is very positive, right? This is a progressive state that has provided a, a large safety net for, for everyone that has been, that has stood up to the, to the president on immigration. And Senator Harris has been doing that in Washington DC and, and one that's been much more liberal on social justice issues than governments in many of those battleground States. So I think for, for voters in urban areas for younger voters, for a diverse coalition, those voters, Senator Harris is a good pick for, and for more moderate voters, blue collar, older, wider voters, they've got Joe Biden as, as appeal. So I think this is an attempt to be a balanced ticket for the Democrat. Speaker 1: 08:46 You know, it's traditionally the vice presidential candidate who takes on most of the negative campaigning against the other side. Is there any risk in up that tradition considering Harris is a black woman. Speaker 3: 08:59 I don't know whether the vice president needs to be the pit bull attack dog. The way that Joe Biden was for Barack Obama in 2008 in 2012, because Donald Trump has fairly strong negatives and you don't need to, to make, to outline that attack on him voters who don't like Donald Trump already. Don't like the president. So I don't think there's as much of a need to prosecute the case against him, which was, which was commonly Harris's line during, during the primary, because for many voters he's already done that. So I think that will give her the latitude to be a more, a kinder, gentler, more centrist leader rather than the pit bull of the tickets Speaker 1: 09:41 Considering the racially charged rhetoric that president Trump has already indulged in on a number of issues from immigration to black lives matter protests. How do you think he'll deal with Camila Harris on the democratic ticket? Speaker 3: 09:55 I think what you saw, uh, in, in Tomika Mark's statement is what we've been seeing in, in many of the statements. This is someone that they're attacking as, uh, you know, as a, as really a socialist, a California strong, progressive liberal. The question is whether that attack will stick. It isn't really the political profile of Kama Harris she's run through from the center. That's been her, her, her, uh, her big problem in many ways in the primary. And the question is in this 90 day or so sprint to the general election, will she have the chance to tell her story, get that out there and fend off that attack of her as a San Francisco liberal that we're going to hear from, uh, from the Republican party. Speaker 1: 10:35 And lastly that the democratic national convention starts next week, it will be unlike any convention we've seen. What do you know about what we can expect? Speaker 3: 10:44 It's not going to be the party that it usually is. It will be made for TV as always, but it'll be much harder to make it for TV. And the question is, are voters going to tune in, uh, and does anyone want to spend more time in front of a screen at the end of the day? So I expect it to be it'll, it'll be virtual. It won't have that, that same atmosphere. Uh, and it will be a struggle for both parties with their conventions to really capture the nation's attention and rating. Speaker 1: 11:13 I've been speaking with fed cows or department chair, and professor of political science at UC San Diego and fed once again. Thank you very much. Speaker 3: 11:21 Me, Speaker 4: 11:24 Uh,

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On Midday Edition Wednesday, we hear from two Black female leaders — Asm. Shirley Weber (D-San Diego) and former district attorney candidate Geneviéve Jones-Wright — about the growing political power of Black women in the Democratic party.
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