Vice President Kamala Harris’ interview with Charlamagne Tha God on his Comedy Central show turned testy when he questioned if West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin has more power over policy decisions than President Joe Biden.
On “Tha God’s Honest Truth” on Friday, Charlamagne pressed Harris on how the White House was going to pressure Manchin after obstructing progress on the Build Back Better bill and voting rights legislation, both of which are the core of Biden’s policy plans and the Democrats’ hopes in upcoming elections.
“Somebody has to push back on Joe Manchin. That guy is stopping progress. He’s ruining democracy,” Charlamagne told Harris. “‘Cause what scares me is if the voting rights don’t pass, the Build Back Better doesn’t pass, or police reform doesn’t pass, I doubt you’re gonna get Black people to go out there and vote in 2022 and 2024. And, you know, Trump will be president again. What’s the plan for all of that?”
Harris sidestepped the question, saying, “We need to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. We need to pass the Freedom to Vote Act, and be relentless about pushing for that.”
Charlamagne persisted, asking again how the Biden Administration would deal with Manchin. “I want to know who the real president of this country is? Is it Joe Biden or Joe Manchin?” he asked.
Harris’ chief spokespersona and senior advisor Symone Sanders then spoke up from off-camera. “I’m sorry,” she said, “It’s Symone. I’m so sorry Charlamagne. We have to wrap.”
Charlamagne brushed off the request to end the interview, repeating his question about who is “the real president.” Harris responded by comparing Charlamagne’s question to false claims from Donald Trump and his supporters that Biden’s victory in last year’s election was illegitimate.
“It’s Joe Biden, and don’t start talking like a Republican about asking whether or not he’s president,” she responded. “And I’m vice president and my name is Kamala Harris, and the reality is, because we are in office we do the things like the child tax credit which is going to reduce Black child poverty by 50% – on track to do that.”
Harris went on to list other policy goals the Biden Administration was pushing towards, including replacing lead pipes to improve drinking water quality and lowering prescription drug costs.
“I hear the frustration,” she said. “But let’s not deny the impact that we’ve had, and agree also that there is a whole lot more work to be done. And it is not easy to do, but we will not give up. And I will not give up.”
Watch the full exchange between Vice President Harris and Charlamagne Tha God in the clip above.