Pelosi sparks chaos and confusion among Dems with dodge of direct endorsement of VP Harris

 September 19, 2023

Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) caused chaos and confusion among Democrats last week when she appeared to sidestep directly endorsing Vice President Kamala Harris to continue to be President Joe Biden's running mate in 2024, according to The Hill.

That prompted current House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) to do a bit of clean-up on Sunday as he effusively praised VP Harris and seemingly endorsed her on behalf of himself and all other Democrats, including his predecessor Pelosi.

Pelosi dodged direct endorsement of Harris

Last week, during an interview on CNN with Anderson Cooper, former Speaker Pelosi was asked directly, "Is Vice President Kamala Harris the best running mate for this president?"

"He thinks so and that's what matters," Pelosi replied in reference to President Biden. "And by the way -- she is very politically astute. I don't think people give her enough credit. She is of course values-based, consistent with the president's values and the rest, and people don't understand, she is politically astute."

"Why would she be vice president if she were not. But when she was running for attorney general in California, she had six percent in the polls, six percent in the polls, and she politically astutely made her case about why she would be good, did her politics, and became attorney general," she added. "So don't -- people shouldn't underestimate what Kamala Harris brings to the table."

Cooper pressed the matter and asked again if Harris was "the best running mate" for Biden, to which Pelosi responded, "She is the vice president of the United States. Some people say to me, 'Well, why isn't she doing this or that?' I say, because she's the vice president. That's the job description. You don't do that much, you know. You're a source of strength, inspiration, intellectual resource, and the rest and you -- and she -- I think she's represented our country very well at home and abroad."

Jeffries praises Harris

Just a few days later, House Democratic Leader Jeffries appeared on ABC's "This Week" on Sunday and was asked by guest host Jonathan Karl to address the confusion caused by the remarks from his predecessor Pelosi, to which Jeffries replied, "Far be it for me to ever speak for Nancy D’Alesandro Pelosi, the greatest speaker of all time. She’s very capable of answering that question on her own."

"I will say that Vice President Harris has been a great vice president. She’ll be a great running mate. She’s been a tremendous partner in the things that President Biden has been able to accomplish, which has been phenomenal," he continued.

Jeffries proceeded to rattle off a list of Biden's supposed accomplishments -- including on the economy, infrastructure, clean water, domestic manufacturing, veterans' care, gun control, and prescription drug pricing -- and added, "President Biden has led that effort. House Democrats and Senate Democrats have worked with the administration to get those things done. Vice President Harris has been a tremendous partner."

Pelosi spokesman attempted to clear up confusion about Harris

For what it is worth, a spokesman for former Speaker Pelosi, Aaron Bennett, had already attempted to clear up the confusion caused by his boss's remarks to CNN's Cooper with a statement that purported to express her "unequivocal" support for VP Harris as President Biden's running matter, according to a separate report from The Hill just one day later.

"Last night, Speaker Emerita Pelosi, as always, heaped praise on the Vice President -- saying that she is values-based, politically astute, and represents our country very well at home and abroad," Bennett said. "Today on 'Morning Joe,' Pelosi reiterated her staunch, unequivocal support for the Biden-Harris team."

The spokesman particularly highlighted Pelosi's comments that morning on MSNBC, when she had said, "The Biden-Harris team is our team. We’re very proud of it. And we’re all going to work very hard to make sure that they are re-elected."

Harris deeply unpopular with the American people

All of that chaos and confusion caused by Rep. Pelosi about VP Harris stemmed from the increasingly public concerns some Democrats have expressed about the apparent lack of accomplishments and un-electability of the deeply unpopular vice president who embarrassingly fell flat in her own failed 2020 presidential run and is viewed by some as a drag on President Biden's chances of being re-elected for a second term.

Per the Los Angeles Times as of last week, Harris' favorability was 15 points underwater -- 39% favorable to 54% unfavorable -- and is more unpopular with the public at this point than any of her four most recent VP predecessors as well as the current president himself.

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