Following Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden's historic decision to tap Kamala Harris as his running mate on Aug. 11, the former rivals have put on a unified front. The pair previously made headlines for a tense exchange during the Democratic Primary debates, but the former attorney general and vice president have enjoyed a friendly relationship over the years. As the running mates close out the 2020 campaign, these Kamala Harris quotes about Joe Biden illustrate a real friendship and hint at what a Biden-Harris White House could look like.
When Biden announced Harris as his vice presidential running mate, he acknowledged her professional and personal bond with Beau, Biden's son who died from brain cancer in 2015 at the age of 46. Beau Biden was the Attorney General of Delaware from 2007 through 2015, and he worked closely with Harris on an investigation into banks during the national housing crisis in 2011 through 2012.
"They were both attorneys general at the same time. He had enormous respect for her and her work," Biden said in an email to his supporters. "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."
While Harris' relationship with the senior Biden might have started with his son, she's spoken highly of the former vice president over the years — but she also hasn't been shy to criticize Biden when she disagrees with him.
Harris' Connection To Beau Biden
In February 2016, Harris gave the former Delaware senator the glowing recommendation.
"Joe has given so much to our country and on top of everything he has accomplished he gave us my dear friend Beau Biden," she said during her introduction. "It is through my friendship with Beau that I truly came to know Joe Biden, not just as a leader but as a person ... I say from my personal experience that the Biden family truly represents our nation's highest ideals — a powerful belief in the nobility of public service," she closed.
In Harris' speech after Biden announced her as his running mate, she again brought up Beau, focusing on his relationship with his dad. "[Beau] really was the best of us. And when I would ask him, 'Where did you get that? Where did this come from?' He'd always talk about his dad," she said. "It was the most beautiful display of the love between a father and a son," Harris shared.
Harris’ 2017 Swearing In
Back in 2017, Biden, who was then the outgoing vice president, swore in Harris as just the second African American woman and first American of Indian descent elected to the Senate.
Biden joked, "Promise me, when I’m no longer vice president, you won’t say, 'Joe who?'" In response, she patted him on the back and said, "Why don’t we have a standing get-together for coffee? You can tell me some stories and give me some advice."
Harris & Biden’s 2020 Democratic Primary Debates
During the second night of the Democratic debates in June 2019, Harris hit back on Biden's comments about being able to find common ground with those he didn't agree with, specifically two segregationist senators he worked with in the 1970s.
"I do not believe you are a racist and I agree with you when you commit yourself to the importance of finding common ground, but it's personal and it was hurtful to hear you talk about the reputations of two United States Senators who built their reputations and career on the segregation of race in this country," she told him during the debate. She also condemned him for voting for anti-busing legislation.
Biden initially called her comments a "mischaracterization" and later apologized for giving the impression that he was supporting segregationist senators, saying, "Was I wrong a few weeks ago to somehow give the impression to people that I was praising those men who I successfully opposed time and again? Yes, I was. I regret it. I’m sorry for any of the pain or misconception I may have caused anybody."
Harris’ Endorsement Of Biden For President
After dropping out of the race in December 2019, Harris endorsed her former competitor on Twitter in March 2020.
“You can see in his eyes how he takes to heart the experiences of mothers and fathers working to make ends meet and worrying about whether their children can be safe in their classroom, or young people who fight tirelessly to tackle climate change as they ask for a fair shot at the future in front of them," she said. "And with a lifetime in public service, Joe has a proven track record of getting things done."
Biden's Ability To "Unify The American People"
"Joe Biden can unify the American people because he’s spent his life fighting for us," Harris said in a tweet on Aug. 11.
Harris applauded Joe Biden's "empathy" and "compassion" during their first event together.
"He's someone whose first response when things get tough is never to think about himself, but to care for everyone else. He's someone who never asks, why is this happening to me? And instead asks, what can I do to make life better for you? His empathy, his compassion, his sense of duty to care for others, is why I am so proud to be on this ticket," she said.
For his part, Biden has lauded Harris' accomplishments and revealed, should they win, he wants Harris to voice her opinions and concerns, and "be the last voice in the room" as he makes the decisions that come with being the leader of the United States. With less than a month to go until Election Day, you'll likely see Harris and Biden continue tout each other's strengths and put their friendship on display.