In Michigan, the heart of where Hillary Clinton lost her 2016 race, Sen. Kamala Harris delivered her strongest rebuke on “electability.” She called the preconceived notion that voters pick a nominee based on age, gender or race “short sighted” and “wrong.”
“Voters deserve better,” said Harris in a speech to the Detroit branch of the NAACP, the largest branch of the civil rights group in the country. “As a party, we can’t let ourselves be drawn into thinking in those boxes or falling into those assumptions. We cannot get dragged into simplistic narratives or yesterday’s politics.”
Delivering some of her sharpest remarks yet on race and party unity, Harris urged Democrats to focus on the commonalities between them. “Our party is not white or black, Hispanic or Asian, immigrant or indigenous. It is all of us. This is our party. This is the America we believe in.”
Harris is in the middle of a two-day swing through Detroit and its suburbs, marking a stretch for the Harris campaign to showcase her general election appeal. The California senator seeks to separate herself from former Vice President Joe Biden – and she is fueled by renewed energy after her viral questioning of Attorney General William Barr in the Senate committee hearing.
“The United States attorney general who lied to Congress and lied to you,” Harris said in describing Barr to the packed dining hall.
Harris said if elected president, she would lead a Department of Justice that would double the civil rights division and direct law enforcement to counter the rise of extremism in US.
Before the primarily African-American crowd, Harris argued the path for Democrats winning back the Midwest is not by just focusing on Trump voters, but the women and voters of color who turned out in 2018.
The latest CNN poll conducted by SSRS after Biden’s announcement showed him with a commanding lead over the field, with 39% of Democrats or Democratic-leaning independents saying he is their top choice for the nomination, across gender and race. The same poll showed Harris at 5% but leading the field at 23% among those polled when asked which candidate they’d most like to hear more about.