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Kamala Harris on debate: Biden fights for American people, Trump fights for himself

Rachel Maddow and Kamala Harria
Screen shot via MSNBC

The vice president defended Joe Biden's performance in the first presidential debate.

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Vice President Kamala Harris went on MSNBC Thursday night and defended President Joe Biden’s debate performance, saying, “It was a slow start, there’s no question about that, but I thought it was a strong finish.”

Biden, who has a cold, had a raspy voice and sometimes struggled for words, while Donald Trump appeared sure of himself but often didn’t answer the questions that CNN moderators Jake Tapper and Dana Bash posed. He instead pivoted to different subjects and spouted lies about them, repeating his claims about the 2020 election being stolen from him due to widespread fraud — of which there was no evidence, as Biden pointed out — and blaming immigrants for violent crime (actually down in many cities), alleging that most Americans supported the overturning of Roe v. Wade, and more.

“What we know is that when you look at the two sides of the ledger … Joe Biden is someone who wanted to have a debate based on facts, based on truth, and in Donald Trump we had what we have come to expect, this someone who is going to push lies and distract from the damage he has created and continues to create in our country,” Harris told Rachel Maddow.

“We are looking at a president in Joe Biden who has done historic work,” the vice president continued. Because of Biden’s infrastructure legislation, “over a trillion dollars is hitting the streets of America to upgrade roads and bridges,” she noted, while Trump kept promising infrastructure week and it never happened.

Under the Biden administration, she said, the U.S. has seen the creation of 15 million new jobs, including 800,000 manufacturing jobs. The administration has also capped the cost of insulin at $35 month and allowed Medicare to negotiate drug prices, she added. “These are the substantive issues that the American people care about,” Harris said.

“What we saw tonight is more of the same — Joe Biden fighting for the American people, Donald Trump fighting for himself,” she said.

She further said there is a “very clear contrast on choice,” as Trump selected the three Supreme Court justices who gave the court the conservative majority that overturned Roe and sent the issue of abortion back to the states, where Trump claimed, during the debate, is where it belongs. Because of state bans on the procedure, women are suffering, “bleeding out” during miscarriages, losing their ability to have children in the future, and more.

And with claiming those who support abortion rights support infanticide, Trump and his supporters are trying “to create fear based on fiction,” Harris said. She reminded viewers that when Trump was president, he said if Congress passed a national abortion ban, he would sign it into law. This is “one of the most fundamental issues of our time,” she said.

“I think what Donald Trump is doing is grasping for straws,” she added, then concluded with a zinger: “Of the two people on that debate stage, only one of them has the endorsement of his vice president — let’s not forget that.”

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Trudy Ring

Trudy Ring is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.
Trudy Ring is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.