NBC’s Melvin Asks Harris If She’ll Be Dropped From 2024 Ticket

Political News

During an unusually tough exclusive interview with Vice President Kamala Harris aired on NBC’s Today show Thursday morning, co-host Craig Melvin actually asked the VP if she would be dropped from the Democratic Party ticket in 2024. A visibly upset Harris bristled that she didn’t want to respond to “the punditry and the gossip.”

“Are we going to see the same Democratic ticket in 2024?,” Melvin vaguely wondered. After a long pause, Harris whined: “I’m sorry, we are thinking about today. I mean, honestly, I know why you’re asking the question because this is part of the punditry and the gossip around places like Washington, D.C.” She continued: “We’re focused on what we need to do to address issues like affordable child care, what we need to do to ensure that – ”

Melvin cut her off: “So there’ll be no conversations about 2024?” Harris insisted: “The American people sent us here to do a job. And right now there’s a lot of work to be done, and that’s my focus. Sincerely.”

The anchor then promoted wild speculation that Republican Congresswoman Liz Cheney could be Biden’s new running mate: “It sounds like you’re at least familiar with some of the punditry. I don’t know if you’ve heard that there’s been some talk about a Biden-Cheney ticket, perhaps, in 2024. Did you read that article?”

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Harris huffed: “I did not. No, I did not. And I really could care less about the high-class gossip on these issues.”

Moments before asking about 2024, Melvin pressed the VP on the President’s incendiary and divisive rhetoric during a Tuesday speech in Georgia to sell doomed legislation that would implement a federal takeover of elections:

Let’s turn to voting rights here for a moment. You were there in Atlanta with the President when he compared those who oppose Democratic-backed voting bills that are currently in the Senate – he compared the folks who oppose those to folks who opposed civil rights. Senator Romney, in response yesterday, he took to the floor of the Senate and he said, quote, “So much for unifying the country.”

When the President was on the campaign trail in the fall of 2020, he said something. He said, “With trump out of the way, the vindictiveness of a president going after Republicans who don’t do exactly what he says gets taken away.” Isn’t that exactly what President Biden did in Atlanta on Wednesday?

Harris doubled down on Biden comparing Republicans, and even some Democrats, to segregationists like George Wallace and Bull Connor: “President Biden took the, I believe, right and courageous step to say that Senate rules should not get in the way of protecting the American people’s access to the ballot, and he compared this time to a previous time in our history which is apt for comparison.”

Earlier in the discussion, Melvin also hammered on the administration’s mishandling of COVID:

As we sit here, this week we saw a record number of hospitalizations, adults and children. We’ve seen the infection record broken. I think a lot of people are scratching their heads and they’re wondering one year into this administration, why aren’t we doing better in the fight against COVID?…At what point does the administration say, you know what, this strategy isn’t working? We’re gonna change strategies? Six former administration officials last week wrote that open letter urging the administration to change course, to change strategy. Is it time?

Even as networks like NBC ignore Biden’s approval rating falling to a new low, Melvin’s challenging exchange with Harris shows that the liberal media know how bad things are for the White House.

The interview was brought to viewers by Planet Fitness and Citi.

Here is a transcript of excerpts from the January 13 segment:

7:03 AM ET

(…)

CRAIG MELVIN: As we sit here, this week we saw a record number of hospitalizations, adults and children. We’ve seen the infection record broken. I think a lot of people are scratching their heads and they’re wondering one year into this administration, why aren’t we doing better in the fight against COVID?

KAMALA HARRIS: So let me start with saying that people are rightly frustrated with where we are. We’re frustrated, we’re all frustrated. But I think it’s a mistake – and it would be a mistake –  to suggest that we’ve not seen great progress.

(…)

MELVIN: At what point does the administration say, you know what, this strategy isn’t working? We’re gonna change strategies? Six former administration officials last week wrote that open letter urging the administration to change course, to change strategy. Is it time?

(…)

MELVIN: At what point does the administration acknowledge these people aren’t going to get the shot? They’re just not going to do it.

HARRIS: I don’t believe in giving up on people, Craig. I really don’t.

(…)

MELVIN: Let’s turn to voting rights here for a moment. You were there in Atlanta with the President when he compared those who oppose Democratic-backed voting bills that are currently in the Senate – he compared the folks who oppose those to folks who opposed civil rights. Senator Romney, in response yesterday, he took to the floor of the Senate and he said, quote, “So much for unifying the country.”

When the President was on the campaign trail in the fall of 2020, he said something. He said, “With trump out of the way, the vindictiveness of a president going after Republicans who don’t do exactly what he says gets taken away.” Isn’t that exactly what President Biden did in Atlanta on Wednesday?

HARRIS: President Biden took the, I believe, right and courageous step to say that Senate rules should not get in the way of protecting the American people’s access to the ballot, and he compared this time to a previous time in our history which is apt for comparison.

MELVIN: It’s not just Republican opposition. It would seem as if this piece of legislation is going to come down to one or two moderate Democrats. In months and weeks, the administration hasn’t been able to convince one or two senators to come around. How are you going to do that in two or three days?

HARRIS: If I may, I’d like to contextualize this conversation.

MELVIN: Sure.

HARRIS: Which is, in 2006, in this very town of Washington, D.C., up the street at the United States Capitol in the United States Senate, 98 of the 100 members of the United States Senate voted in favor of an extension of the Voting Rights Act. It was not a partisan issue. It was an American issue.

MELVIN: But Madam Vice President, how are you going to get it done?

HARRIS: Well – well, when we have the discussion about who’s responsible, I will not absolve the 50 Republicans in the United States Senate from responsibility for upholding one of the most basic and important tenants of our democracy, which is free and fair elections and access to the ballot for all eligible voters.

MELVIN: What about Senator Manchin? What about Senator Sinema?

HARRIS: I don’t think anyone should be absolved from the responsibility of preserving and protecting our democracy.

MELVIN: Are you working –

HARRIS: Especially when they took an oath to protect and defend our Constitution.

MELVIN: Why has the administration not been able to get Senate Democrats on board?

HARRIS: We are not giving up.

MELVIN: No, but the question was why has it taken this long?

HARRIS: But you’re acting as though it’s over.  

MELVIN: Well, I mean, you’ve –  

HARRIS: It’s not over.

MELVIN: So it’s gonna happen by Monday?

HARRIS: I’m saying it’s not over. And we don’t give up. We don’t give up and we will not give up.

MELVIN: Are we going to see the same Democratic ticket in 2024?

HARRIS: [Long pause] I’m sorry, we are thinking about today. I mean, honestly, I know why you’re asking the question because this is part of the punditry and the gossip around places like Washington, D.C. Let me just tell you something, we’re focused on the things in front of us. We’re focused on what we need to do to address issues like affordable child care, what we need to do to ensure that –  

MELVIN: So there’ll be no conversations about 2024?

HARRIS: The American people sent us here to do a job. And right now there’s a lot of work to be done, and that’s my focus. Sincerely.  

MELVIN: It sounds like you’re at least familiar with some of the punditry. I don’t know if you’ve heard that there’s been some talk about a Biden-Cheney ticket, perhaps, in 2024. Did you read that article?

HARRIS: I did not. No, I did not. And I really could care less about the high-class gossip on these issues.

(…)

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