SPARKS, Nevada — California Sen. Kamala Harris’s presidential campaign is over, but she could still find herself in the White House next year.
In his first California interview, former Vice President Joe Biden said he would consider Harris “for anything” she wants, including vice president.
“She’s qualified to be president, and I’d consider her for anything that she would be interested in,” Biden said on The Bee’s California Nation podcast.
After learning of Harris’ decision last month to bow out of the 2020 presidential race, Biden initially said he had “mixed emotions about it” and declined to say whether he’d consider her as a running mate if he were selected as the Democratic nominee. He later wrote on Twitter that she is “an incredible talent with unlimited potential.”
Biden and Harris most notably scrapped with each other over racial issues at the first Democratic debate. Harris went after him over his school busing policies and comments he made about getting along with segregationist senators — a move that helped catapult her to the top of the pack.
“There was a little girl in California who was part of the second class to integrate her public schools, and she was bused to school every day. And that little girl was me,” Harris said at the debate.
In the weeks after the debate, Harris overtook Biden in California and gained steam nationally. But a lack of clarity on her health care views and a disorganized campaign contributed to a swift drop in the polls.
Tuesday night’s Democratic debate will be the first one to date without a candidate of color on stage. Entrepreneur Andrew Yang, who was the only person of color at last month’s debate, fell two polls shy of qualifying this time around.
California billionaire activist Tom Steyer edged out Yang key polls and became the sixth person to qualify for the debate after spending millions of dollars on advertisements to help fuel his momentum. He said he regrets that a candidate of color won’t be on stage but pinned the blame on the Democratic National Committee for not encouraging more racial diversity.
New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker and former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro recently withdrew from the race and had been vocal critics of the qualification process.
Biden said he believes he can be an effective voice for black and brown voters, though he would have liked to seen more people qualify for the upcoming debate.
“I wish more people were on the debate stage,” Biden said. “The fact is that, if you notice, I get more support from black and brown constituents than anybody in this race. That’s where I come from. I come from the African-American community. That’s my base. … I’m not sure this whole debate setup has made any sense anyway to begin with. But it is what it is.”
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