Vice President Kamala Harris enthusiastically reaffirmed her support for President Joe Biden’s re-election bid on Sunday even as a growing number of their fellow Democrats cast doubt on the commander-in-chief’s 2024 ambitions.
During a wide-ranging interview on NBC News’ Meet The Press, Harris also tried to avoid weighing in directly on the Justice Department’s bombshell investigation into Donald Trump’s handling of classified documents.
However, she did say that ‘people are going to demand justice’ in a broad sense, calling upon her past as a US prosecutor, and added that they would ‘rightly’ be doing so.
It comes as the White House continues to maintain that the president himself has not been briefed on the operation nor has he discussed it.
Ever since the FBI raided Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home in Florida last month, concerns have been raised about the visual of a Democrat president’s government investigating a political rival – should the ex-president formally declare his 2024 candidacy.
Asked whether Biden has any plans to file for re-election after the November midterm elections, Harris replied, ‘Listen, the president has been very clear that he intends to run again.’
‘And if he does, I will be running with him proudly,’ she added in the pre-taped discussion.
Vice President Kamala Harris sat down for a wide-ranging pre-taped interview with NBC’s Meet The Press that aired on Sunday, September 11
The California Democrat’s vote of confidence for Biden comes as other members of their party raise concerns about his prospective candidacy – chiefly, his age.
Democrat Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio, who is running for Senate there, called for a ‘generational change’ in leadership just a day before Biden visited his state.
And another left-wing Senate hopeful, Wisconsin Lt. Governor Mandela Barnes, opted not to appear with Biden during a Labor Day speech in Milwaukee.
The president will be 81 years old on Election Day 2024, a new record that surpasses the one he currently holds.
Harris would not say on Sunday if or how she and Biden had discussed the ‘worst case scenario’ of his passing away while in office.
‘I pray that it does not. And listen, I think that there is no question that the role and the responsibility of vice president is a very important one. And Joe Biden knows that more than anybody. He and I talk about it,’ the vice president said.
‘And it is the job of working with the president, doing what I can to be a great partner, to take on and help take on some of the biggest issues that impact our country, both domestically and in terms of foreign policy. And so that’s the work that I do.’
Harris’ enthusiastic support for President Biden running for re-election comes as multiple Democrats running for higher office have tread gingerly around him and his local appearances
Meanwhile she took a swipe at Donald Trump when asked her thoughts on the DOJ charging him over the classified documents scandal, stating: ‘The president and I and our administration, unlike the previous administration, have been very, very careful to make sure that there is no question about any kind of interference’
Another future campaign trail concern for Biden and Harris would come if the Justice Department went forward with charging Trump, in the event its investigation proves he mishandled classified documents in violation of federal law.
Political experts have said it’s highly unlikely that federal charges will get in the way of Trump mounting a campaign.
But it may pose a headache for Biden amid already-mounting GOP accusations that his officials are weaponizing the Justice Department against his top political opponent.
On Sunday, Harris declined to weigh in on whether those concerns should factor into the government’s potential charges against the former president.
However, she did later suggest she supported calls for ‘justice’ when asked if charging Trump would prove too divisive.
The interview aired as she and Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff took part in New York City’s September 11th memorial
‘I wouldn’t dare tell the Department of Justice what to do. As a former prosecutor, I will tell you, I am not in the business of telling a prosecutor what to do with their case because they know best the facts and the evidence as applied to the law,’ Harris said.
Taking a shot at Trump’s tight hold over his own Justice Department, she said: ‘And certainly, the president and I and our administration, unlike the previous administration, have been very, very careful to make sure that there is no question about any kind of interference in terms of the decisions that the Department of Justice makes.’
Host Chuck Todd pressed, ‘Let me try to go to 60,000 feet. What do you say to the argument that it would be too divisive for the country to prosecute a former president?’
‘I think that our country is a country that has gone through different periods of time where the unthinkable has happened, and where there has been a call for justice, and justice has been served,’ the vice president answered.
‘And I think that’s potentially going to always be the case in our country that people are going to demand justice and they rightly do.’