While they see eye-to-eye on a plethora of issues, Sen. Lindsey Graham and President Donald Trump disagree sharply regarding Democrat presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris’s performance at the shocking second Democrat primary debate last week.
According to Graham, Harris knocked it out of the park.
“[O]ne thing I’ll say about Kamala Harris, and I’ve said this before: She’s got game. She is very talented, she is very smart and she’ll be a force to be reckoned with,” he said in a “Face the Nation” interview that was released on YouTube Saturday evening.
The remark was included at the tail end of a longer statement about former Vice President Joe Biden’s poor performance at the debate, where he was ripped to smithereens by Harris over his past opposition to so-called integrated busing and his recent comments about his former segregationist colleagues.
“He’s got to up his game, but anybody who knows Joe Biden knows there’s not a racist bone in his body,” Graham said. “That’s not a cliche — that’s reality. But the narrative is that maybe it’s not his time and he’s not up to the task.”
“I think you will underestimate Joe Biden at your own peril. I watched the debate. The policy options being presented to the country by the leading contenders on the Democrat side are their biggest problem. Pretty liberal, pretty extreme. But when it comes to Joe Biden, I think the next debate, he has got to change the narrative.”
While the president would likely agree for the most part with the senator’s assessment of “Sleepy” Joe Biden, he most certainly doesn’t agree regarding Harris’s performance.
“She was given too much credit,” he said Saturday from the 2019 G20 Osaka summit in Japan when asked about the debate feud between Biden and Harris. “I think she was given too much credit for what she did. It wasn’t that outstanding.”
When then asked whether he believes Harris would be a “tough opponent” in the general election, the president said, “You never know who’s going to be tough. You never know. One that you think is going to be tough turns out to be not much. And sometimes you think one …”
He continued by going over his experience during the 2016 Republican presidential primary elections, during which he’d gone up against over a dozen other candidates.
“[O]f the 18 [candidates], you know, many were — all their lives, they wanted to be politicians. I never thought about being a politician until about two days before I decided to run. A little before that, but not too much before,” he said.
“And they — you know, you looked at some of them, they’re very talented. You look at their résumés, it’s like great. And, sometimes, the ones that I thought would be the toughest were not the toughest at all. I mean, I could write a book. I should write a book.”
Despite all the fancy credentials and past experience they brought to the race, every one of Trump’s opponents in the 2016 primaries wound up getting trounced by him.
“[S]ome of the ones that I thought would be absolutely — absolutely, without question, the toughest, turned out — I didn’t they were tough at all,” he continued Sunday before pivoting his attention back to Harris. “Others that a lot of people said weren’t tough, they were tough.”
“I think she was given far too much credit for what she did. That was so out of the can what she said. That thing was right out of a box. And I thought that he didn’t respond great. I wouldn’t say it was — this was not Winston Churchill we’re dealing with, okay? But it wasn’t — it wasn’t, I don’t think, nearly as bad as they portended it to be.”
The feud at the debate last Thursday started when Harris slyly suggested Biden’s a racist.
“I do not believe you are a racist,” she said. “And I agree with you when you commit yourself to the importance of finding common ground, but I also believe — and it is personal, and it was actually very hurtful to hear you talk about the reputations of two United States senators who built their reputation and career on the segregation of race in this country. And it was not only that, but you also worked with them to oppose busing.”
Earlier this month the former VP turned 2020 contender cited his past interactions with two former colleagues who were staunch segregationists as examples of him remaining civil and working with those with whom he disagrees ideologically. His point had been to note that, to get things done in this world, sometimes you have to work with people you dislike. That’s life.
He’s since been smeared by everybody from the talking heads a CNN to his opponents in the Democrat race, including Harris, as someone with racist tendencies.
As for “busing,” it was and still is a controversial Democrat policy that calls for busing minority students to schools outside of their local district so as to promote more so-called “diversity.” During his earlier years as a senator, Biden had stood in staunch opposition to busing.
The media have hoisted Harris up as a star and champion because of her attacks on Biden. Graham appears to agree with this perspective to some extent, which is fair given that polls do show that Harris has since gained some support while Biden has lost some.
Per Morning Consult (not a re-interview poll), Biden 33 (was 38), Sanders 19 (19), Harris 12 (6), Warren 12 (13), Buttigieg 6 (7)… MC doesn’t really have undecideds, but this looks “right”. If translated to average poll, probably Biden 25%-30% followed by a slew of mid-teens. pic.twitter.com/mrsbvKb4gW
— (((Harry Enten))) (@ForecasterEnten) June 30, 2019
However, as the president duly noted, just because she’s all tough now doesn’t mean she’ll be as tough when she comes up against him. FYI, being tough against a “sleepy” 76-year-old man isn’t as easy as being tough against a “young, vibrant” behemoth.
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