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Posted under: 2020 Election News

Joe Biden Announces Kamala Harris As VP Pick

Biden made the announcement on Tuesday.

Joe Biden has announced Kamala Harris as his running mate ahead of the Democratic National Convention in Wisconsin.

The presidential hopeful and former vice president sparked months of conversation after committing to likely selecting a woman to join him on his ticket. Recently, those demands increased to him needing to select a Black woman.

Biden made the announcement late Tuesday afternoon.

"I have the great honor to announce that I’ve picked @KamalaHarris — a fearless fighter for the little guy, and one of the country’s finest public servants — as my running mate," Biden wrote in the tweet. 

Harris, a 55-year-old Oakland native, has been a U.S. senator since being elected in 2017, per Business Insider. Prior to serving in Congress, she worked as California's attorney general. If Biden and Harris are elected to office, the latter will become the first Black woman to serve as U.S. vice president and would be the only person of Asian heritage to occupy the role, according to The Washington Post. 

The senator, who had been a contender in the 2020 presidential race, suspended her campaign on December 3. Fortune reports in early June, Harris co-sponsored a bill proposing Americans who make no more than $120,000 per year receive stimulus payments up to $2,000 to help them stay afloat during the coronavirus pandemic. 

Harris responded to the Tuesday announcement by saying she'd be honored to join the presumptive Democratic nominee on the party's presidential ticket. 

".@JoeBiden can unify the American people because he's spent his life fighting for us. And as president, he'll build an America that lives up to our ideals," she wrote. "I'm honored to join him as our party's nominee for Vice President, and do what it takes to make him our Commander-in-Chief."

Along with Harris, Susan Rice, Stacey Abrams, Karen Bass, Elizabeth Warren and Gretchen Whitmer have all been mentioned in conversations pertaining to Biden's vice-presidential candidate. 

While it remains obvious that Biden needs to reach the Black community to help him secure the White House, prominent leaders declared he'd lose the election if he failed to select a Black woman. 

The presidential candidate, however, has struggled to connect with the Black community and has repeatedly come under scrutiny for off-putting racial remarks.

During an interview with radio host Charlamagne tha God, Biden told listeners "if you have a problem figuring out whether you're for me or Trump, then you ain't Black."

His comment came as he was being rushed off the interview to allow his wife, Jill Biden, to get set up for another interview.

The backlash from his remark was instant, with Charlamagne eventually saying that Black people were already reluctant to vote for him and are ultimately being forced to do so.

"I really wish Joe Biden would shut the f**k up forever," the radio host said.

Biden's previous support for harmful policies has also come under attack, specifically during debates with former Democratic presidential candidates.

Biden's running mate has not been resistant to calling the former vice president out on problematic policy. Most notably, Harris, a former prosecutor, once called Biden out for backing a busing policy that she said directly affected her as a child. 

In a letter from more than 100 Black men, including P. Diddy, Biden was blasted for supporting racially divisive policies, as Blavity previously reported.

“Have Democratic Party leaders, allies, or donors ever required Joe Biden to show remorse for the 1986 or 1988 Anti Drug Abuse bills, which established mandatory minimum sentencing and subsequently crack-cocaine sentencing disparities, and by his own admission, led to mass incarceration? What about the 1994 Crime Bill?" the letter stated.

The letter was penned in support of a message drafted by prominent Black women who criticized the scrutiny the vice-presidential candidates have faced.

The letter, which was shared with Blavity, noted how the candidates have been "publicly critiqued" and "disrespected."

"We have also watched many of these highly-credentialed women be disrespected in the media over the last few weeks. Regardless of your political affiliation, whether it's the media, members of the vice presidential vetting committee, a former Governor, a top political donor, or a small town mayor: We are not your Aunt Jemimas," the women said. 

It was also reported that a Biden staffer wanted Harris to apologize for comments she directed at the presidential hopeful during a debate. 

“She laughed and said, ‘that’s politics.’ She had no remorse,” Chris Dodd, a former senator and member of Biden's search committee, told a longtime Biden supporter and donor.

Harris hit back at the comment, saying there will always be “resistance to your ambition.”

“There will be people who say to you, 'you are out of your lane.' They are burdened by only having the capacity to see what has always been instead of what can be. But don't you let that burden you," she said, according to CNN.

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