Democrats, including some Biden administration officials, are reportedly so concerned about Vice President Kamala Harris’ missteps that they don’t believe she could beat a Republican in 2024 if she were to be the nominee — even if her opponent was former President Trump.
Democrats close to the White House told Axios they’re concerned about Harris’ mishandling of politically sensitive issues and “political tone deafness,” the outlet reported Friday.
The vice president was widely panned by the right for her monthslong refusal to visit the southern border after she was designated to run point on the migrant surge.
Biden aides still believe the he will be the nominee in 2024 but realize the president would be 81 when seeking reelection. Harris, the first Black and Asian woman to hold the vice presidency, would be a shoo-in for the nomination if Biden stepped aside.
Several recent reports have detailed tensions between the West Wing and the vice president’s office and communication issues and distrust between aides and senior officials on Harris’ team.
White House chief of staff Ron Klain said the commander in chief and the vice president are in lockstep.
“The president’s trust and confidence in her is obvious when you see them in the Oval Office together,” he told Axios.
Biden senior adviser Cedric Richmond described reports of tensions and mistrust as “a whisper campaign designed to sabotage [Harris].”
The vice president’s office could not immediately be reached by Fox News for further comment.
Some Biden officials feel Harris is getting bad advice from her press shop and think it’s telling that she’s lost two senior aides and a digital director.
Much of the criticism was directed at Harris’ chief of staff Tina Flournoy, who aides claimed has limited access to Harris and contributed to a culture “where ideas are ignored or met with harsh dismissals and decisions are dragged out,” according to a Politico report, citing interviews with 22 current and former aides.
Apparent concerns over Flournoy’s leadership were echoed in a report from CNBC. The outlet reported Harris’ chief of staff had “effectively shut out” some of the vice president’s allies in politics and business, including top donors.
Axios reported that Flournoy months ago had sat on a request from Forbes to feature Harris in its first “50 over 50” issue, what was sure to be glowing coverage, and the West Wing had to intervene to get an answer for Forbes, according to a source familiar. An aide said that Flournoy was simply nailing down the details. The publication ultimately did feature the VP.