DETROIT – Rep. Brenda Lawrence (D-MI14) praised the decision of former Vice President Joe Biden to choose Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) Tuesday, heralding Harris as “an excellent choice” who was a “good fit” for Biden.
“Being a Black woman, seeing her being nominated, that she’s qualified, she is an excellent choice,” Lawrence said. “I’m over the top, that she is now our nominee for being the Vice President.”
Lawrence serves as the second Vice Chair for both the Congressional Black Caucus and the Co-Chair for the Congressional Women’s Caucus. She endorsed Harris for her party’s nomination last year, but Harris dropped out of the race before the Michigan Democratic primary in March. Nonetheless, the Congresswoman said Biden’s choice was on message with what Democrats are putting forth as an answer to the administration of President Donald Trump.
“It is showing that this country that’s so divided right now; that (Biden) has shown that there is value in our diversity,” she said. “It’s something that I can campaign on that I’m very excited about, is bringing the country together, and whether you’re Democrat or Republican we’re exhausted.”
Biden’s decision to choose Harris came after immense pressure for the presumptive Democratic nominee to choose a woman of color after several comments viewed as offensive by large groups of Black voters. Lawrence indicated she was unhappy with those comments, although said she wouldn’t “dictate every word that comes out of his mouth.” She added Harris would not be enough to sway Black voters who may have been offended by Biden’s comments.
“He has to keep his word. He has now selected a Black woman to be his vice president, but he has to keep his word. We all make mistakes, but it’s what you do, that matters,” Lawrence said.
Harris also faces an uphill battle with less-centrist members of the Democratic party who had problems with her record as a prosecutor and Attorney General of California during the campaign. Lawrence, who is left of the center of her party, said she understands those concerns but thought progressive voters would support a Biden-Harris ticket come November.
“You’re never going to satisfy everyone. You’re never going to check every box,” she said. “I’m not going to be mad at anyone that doesn’t think that she needs to take one step further, but I can tell you, in my definition of a progressive, she checks the box.”
Republicans in Michigan, immediately following the announcement of Harris on the ticket, began painting the California senator as a fringe member of her party, despite the criticism from left-wing Democrats.
“The pick of Kamala Harris confirms how radical the Democrat Party has become. Her addition to the ticket brings support for the Green New Deal, abolishing private health insurance, raising taxes, cutting police funding and devastation for Michigan’s economy. I am more confident than ever that we will re-elect President Trump and Vice President Pence this November,” MIGOP Chair Laura Cox said in a statement.
“Kamala Harris has solidified Joe Biden’s campaign as the most radical ticket in history,” The Trump Michigan campaign spokesperson Chris Gustafson said in a statement.
Harris was the favored pick as Biden’s running mate but speculation swirled in recent days over whether the choice would be Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D). Whitmer visited Biden in his home state of Delaware in early August and had been on the short list of potential running mates. When asked whether Whitmer could be in position to be a member of a Biden administration cabinet, should the Democrat take the White House, Lawrence didn’t answer directly nor did she say in which position she would like to see Whitmer.
“I’m happy right now that she’s my governor. I don’t know I haven’t had that conversation with her. But is she qualified and would I support her? Yes.”
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