“Of course I would,” Biden said. “Look, Sen. Harris has the capacity to be anything she wants to be. I mean it sincerely. I talked to her yesterday. She’s solid, she can be president someday herself, she can be vice president, she could go on to be a Supreme Court justice, she could be attorney general. I mean she has enormous capability.”
Harris, who was once seen as a leading contender in the race for the 2020 Democratic nomination, ended her campaign Tuesday due to financial pressures and after months of polling in single digits.
Harris and Biden have a complicated history.
Harris, a former attorney general of California, knew Biden’s late son, Beau Biden, who served as attorney general of Delaware.
But during the first Democratic primary debate, the California senator confronted Biden on race issues, specifically about the time he spent in the Senate fighting against federally-mandated busing to desegregate schools and his comments on working with segregationist senators. While the viral moment helped Harris in the immediate post-debate polls, she later dropped significantly.
Biden said afterward that he wasn’t prepared for the senator to confront him in that way.
“I was prepared for them to come after me, but I wasn’t prepared for the person coming at me the way she came at me,” he told CNN’s Chris Cuomo.
Upon hearing the news from reporters that Harris had dropped out of the race Tuesday, Biden appeared genuinely shocked and said he had “mixed emotions” about her ending her campaign.
“My reaction is she’s of first rate intellect, a first rate candidate and a real competitor,” he said. “I have mixed emotions about it because she is really a solid, solid person, and loaded with talent. And I’m sure she’s not dropping out on wanting to make the changes she cares about.”
The former vice president continues his fifth day of the “No Malarkey” bus tour through Iowa, during which he will hit 18 counties over the course of eight days.
CNN’s Arlette Saenz and Dan Merica contributed to this report.