President Biden called Vice President Kamala Harris his “partner” in navigating the United States’ response to the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas and said her “advice and counsel are invaluable.”
Harris’s “60 Minutes” interview on Sunday highlighted the role she plays in foreign policy matters and showcased her close relationship with Biden, even comparing it to Biden’s relationship with then-President Barack Obama, when Biden served as his vice president.
“This is as high stakes and complex a situation as it gets. And Kamala is my partner in all of it,” Biden said in a statement to 60 Minutes, which was included in the program’s piece on the vice president. “Harris’s advice and counsel are invaluable.”
Correspondent Bill Whitaker, who conducted the interview with Harris, reported that she has joined President Biden for calls with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. She has also spoken to Israeli President Isaac Herzog about the ongoing situation.
Whitaker asked Harris about Biden’s close relationship with Obama and about Biden’s well-reported remark that he always wanted to be the last person in the room with the president.
“Do you have that relationship with President Biden?” Whitaker asked.
“I do, I do,” Harris said. “And I take that responsibility quite seriously.”
On how often she speaks with the president, Harris said, “Multiple times a day quite often, unless he or I are traveling.”
The efforts to portray the relationship between Harris and Biden as close comes after a wave of bad press, including reports that the two had a tense relationship and carried some lingering resentment from the 2020 campaign, when Harris pointedly called Biden out on his position on busing.
As the incumbent team approaches the one-year mark out from the 2024 election, however, they appear to be seeking a reboot.
In the 60 Minutes interview, Harris brushed off a question about the sense that some Democrats don’t see Harris as the next leader of the Democratic Party, after Biden.
“First of all, I’m not going to engage in that hypothetical because Joe Biden is very much alive and running for reelection,” Harris said. “I would say I hear from a lot of different people a lot of different things. But let me just tell you, I’m focused on the job. I truly am. Our democracy is on the line, Bill.”
“I frankly, in my head, do not have time for parlor games when we have a president who is running for reelection,” she added.
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