Former Vice President Joe Biden named his former campaign trail rival, Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., as his running mate.
Biden announced the decision in an email to supporters.
“I know a thing or two about being Vice President. More than anything, I know it can’t be a political decision. It has to be a governing decision. If the people of this nation entrust me and Kamala with the office of President and Vice President for the next four years, we’re going to inherit a nation in crisis, a nation divided, and a world in disarray. We won’t have a minute to waste. That’s what led me to Kamala Harris,” Biden said in the email.
He also harkened back to the first time he met Harris through his late son, Beau.
“They were both Attorneys General at the same time. He had enormous respect for her and her work. I thought a lot about that as I made this decision. There is no one’s opinion I valued more than Beau’s and I’m proud to have Kamala standing with me on this campaign,” he said.
In a tweet, Harris said she’s honored to join Biden and will “do what it takes to make him our Commander-in-Chief.”
Soon after the announcement, the Biden campaign sent out a fact sheet to supporters titled “Ready to Lead” about Harris’ qualifications and announced that the pair would deliver remarks in Wilmington, Delaware, on Wednesday.
Next week, the Democrats hold their national convention — largely a virtual affair because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic — with former first lady Michelle Obama, former second lady Jill Biden, former President Barack Obama and the former vice president headlining each of the four nights.
Harris was already slated to speak at next week’s Democratic National Convention in a primetime slot on Thursday. Now that’s she Biden’s pick for vice president, she’ll deliver a speech Wednesday, just before Obama is set to close out the night.
As the vice presidential search wore on against the backdrop of racial tensions and social change, Biden was frequently questioned about whether he would choose a woman of color as his running mate.
By choosing Harris, who is Black and Indian American, Democrats are sending a powerful and historic statement ahead of the November election as the nation continues to grapple with social change. If elected, Harris would not only be the first woman to serve as vice president, but would also be the first person of color to be second in command and the highest-elected Asian American in history.
The junior senator from California has already achieved a number of historic milestones as the second African American woman and first South Asian American senator in history. She was also the first African American and first woman to serve as California’s attorney general. Her friendship with a fellow attorney general, the late-Beau Biden, remains a bond between Harris and the Bidens.
Responses the announcement were swift.
Jill Biden tweeted at Harris’ husband, Doug Emhoff, who has the potential to become the first second husband in American history.
“Are you ready?” she tweeted, to which he responded, “Ready to work!”
Susan Rice, former national security adviser to Obama who was also near the top of Biden’s shortlist for vice president, was quick to issue a statement congratulating Harris.
“Senator Harris is a tenacious and trailblazing leader who will make a great partner on the campaign trail,” she said. “I look forward to supporting the Biden-Harris ticket with all my energy and commitment.”
Obama called it “a good day for our country” in a tweet about the announcement.
“I’ve known Senator @KamalaHarris for a long time,” he wrote. “She is more than prepared for the job. She’s spent her career defending our Constitution and fighting for folks who need a fair shake.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, in a statement, called the choice of Harris a “historic and proud milestone for our country.”
Both former president Bill Clinton and Democratic nominee for president in 2016 Hillary Clinton tweeted at Biden and Harris welcoming the decision.
Hillary Clinton said Harris has “already proven to be an incredible public servant and leader,” an argument the now Biden-Harris campaign is already touting.
Florida Rep. Val Demings, another member of Congress who made Biden’s shortlist, expressed gratitude for being considered and excitement to help the presumptive Democratic ticket win in November.
“For a little girl who grew up poor, Black and female in the South to be considered during this process has been an incredible honor. I feel so blessed. To see a Black woman nominated for the first time reaffirms my faith that in America, there is a place for every person to succeed no matter who they are or where they come from,” Demings said in a statement.
Sen. Bernie Sanders, the last to suspend his 2020 presidential campaign amid the coronavirus pandemic, offered his congratulations in a tweet.
“Congratulations to @KamalaHarris, who will make history as our next Vice President,” the senator from Vermont wrote. “She understands what it takes to stand up for working people, fight for health care for all, and take down the most corrupt administration in history. Let’s get to work and win.”
Another former presidential candidate who was also on the vice presidential shortlist, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., added in her congratulatory tweet that she is “so looking forward to seeing Kamala take on Pence on the debate stage.”
President Donald Trump tweeted out a video slamming Harris in response to the news.
In a radio interview with Geraldo Rivera last Thursday, the president spoke about Harris’ candidacy.
“I think she’s fine … I mean she did very poorly in the, in the race. She was expected to be one of the winners and, you know, one of the potential stronger candidates, and she ended up going out with nothing so she was a third. But, I’m fine with any of them,” Trump said, adding, “She did very poorly.”