Michigan Dems show support for Kamala Harris on the ticket

Sen. Kamala Harris at a rally for former Vice President Joe Biden in Detroit, March 9, 2020 | Andrew Roth

Joe Biden’s pick for his running mate was announced Tuesday afternoon, and many Michigan Democrats are excited that Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) will be joining the presumptive nominee’s ticket. 

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer was on the former vice president’s short list of candidates and flew out to Delaware to meet with Biden on Aug. 2, but she was quick to congratulate the two shortly after the announcement.

“I am extraordinarily proud to support Kamala Harris and Joe Biden! They will be a fierce team to Build America Back Better,” Whitmer tweeted

Harris, a daughter of immigrants from India and Jamaica, is a historic pick for vice president as she would be the first woman of color and the first Asian American to serve as the president’s counterpart. 

In May 2019, Harris visited Detroit to speak at the NAACP’s 64th annual Fight for Freedom Fund dinner, and in July 2019 was endorsed by the Michigan Democratic Party Black Caucus during her own presidential campaign. 

Months after Harris ended her presidential run in December 2019, she endorsed Biden and joined him on the campaign trail. On March 9, the day before Michigan’s presidential primary, Harris took the stage in Detroit with Biden for his last rally before the Democratic frontrunner won in the battleground state. 

Whitmer slated to speak at Democratic National Convention

A number of Michigan’s senators and representatives in Washington, D.C. also shared their support for Biden’s choice. 

U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Lansing) said that she is excited for Harris after working with her in the Senate and seeing her “competence, compassion and ability to get things done.”

“She’ll hit the ground running and is ready to lead on day one,” Stabenow tweeted. “Like Joe Biden, Kamala Harris gets Michigan and will be there everyday for our families.”

U.S. Sen. Gary Peters (D-Bloomfield Twp.) tweeted that he is “proud to share the ballot with Joe Biden and Kamala Harris this November” while he runs for his own reelection. 

U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Detroit), a member of the Democratic Party’s progressive wing, said she worked alongside Harris on COVID-19 relief packages and clean water policies. 

“Now let’s defeat Trump and make those policies a reality,” Tlaib tweeted

Biden chooses Kamala Harris for veep nomination

U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Dearborn) called Harris a “momentous nomination” and said the California senator is “incredibly qualified and the perfect counterpart for this Democratic ticket.”

“Joe Biden has picked a running mate that he knows will be a strong teammate in healing this nation’s heart and soul,” Dingell tweeted. “This is the team that will win America in November, in the most important election of our lives.”

State Sen. Adam Hollier (D-Detroit) said Biden’s decision gave him hope for his own daughter. 

“I was an early supporter of [Harris’] run for #POTUS & today I’m grateful for her leadership because she’s paving a way for my daughter. Maybe she will be president one day. Because she saw a path,” Hollier tweeted

Michigan AFL-CIO President Ron Bieber also shared his support for the vice president hopeful, calling Harris a “champion for the working people.”

“She’ll be a great addition to the Democratic ticket, and will make a wonderful Vice President,” Bieber said in a statement. “She’ll help lead our country out of the crises we are currently facing, and she’ll be the first woman to ever hold one of the two highest executive offices in our country. It’s about time.”

President Donald Trump was much less enthusiastic about his opponent’s running mate, tweeting that Harris “finished weak” during her own run for the Democratic presidential nomination. 

“That’s the kind of opponent everyone dreams of,” Trump wrote Wednesday. 

During a Tuesday press conference, Trump called Harris “nasty” and “disrespectful” to Biden during the Democratic Presidential debates. 

“She was very disrespectful to Joe Biden, and it’s hard to pick somebody that’s that disrespectful,” Trump said. 

Ronna McDaniel, Republican National Committee chair and former Michigan Republican Party chair, was also critical of Biden and Harris in the White House. 

“A hiding, diminished and incoherent Biden didn’t just select a VP candidate, he chose the person who will actually be in charge if he were somehow able to win,” McDaniel tweeted. “Harris’ radical policies may be popular among liberals, but they are well outside the mainstream for most Americans.”