California senator and Democratic presidential candidate, Kamala Harris, surged in the polls following the first primary debate, namely thanks to her decision to attack front-runner Joe Biden’s past support for busing segregation.
As The New York Times reported, Harris’ strong debate performance helped her surge in three different polls.
But, as Fox News reported, days after attacking Biden’s position on busing, Harris appeared to agree with the former vice president.
This has become somewhat of a recurring theme in her campaign, but according to a new report from The Hill, after flip-flopping on a number of key issues, Harris is now being pressured to “define policy proposals.”
Former Chairman of the South Carolina Democratic Party and a Biden campaign surrogate, Dick Harpootlian, describes the California senator’s campaign and statements as “smoke and mirrors.”
“As the campaign wears on and as she’s pressed to prove details, I think she’s going to find herself realizing this isn’t a campaign for attorney general of California,” he said.
Harris changed her mind about healthcare a number of times. Bernie Sanders’ Medicare for All proposal has become somewhat of a litmus test for other candidates in the race, and Harris has gone back and forth between supporting and opposing the proposal, despite the fact that she is a co-sponsor of the Vermont senator’s legislation.
During a CNN town hall in January, Harris said that she would “eliminate” private health insurance, only to say in a May interview that she would actually seek to eliminate the “bureaucracy.” At the first presidential debate, however, Harris — along with Sanders — raised her hand when the moderators asked the candidates whether their healthcare plan would abolish private insurance.
Immediately after the debate, Harris changed her position again, stating that “private insurance would certainly exist” under her healthcare plan.
As Sanders’ senior adviser Jeff Weaver explained to The Hill, “if you’re for Medicare for All, then you’re for eliminating private insurance in the area of covered services. If you’re not for that, you’re not for Medicare for All.”
— Intelligencer (@intelligencer) July 18, 2019
Harris appears to have not defined her immigration policy either. During the first primary debate, she said that she supports decriminalizing illegal border crossings. In a subsequent interview, however, she changed her position, stating that she actually supports reducing illegal border crossing to a civil offense.
During a campaign event in April, the California senator said that the nation needs to have a “conversation” about allowing incarcerated felons to vote, only to contradict herself the following day, expressing opposition to murderers and terrorists voting from prison.
As The Hill notes, Harris’ supporters and campaign staffers have defended the candidate, but some believe that she has failed to deliver a coherent message to voters.
“Of all the top contenders, I think her message is least fleshed out. And so beyond having Biden on that platform, she needs to use that time to tell people exactly what her candidacy is about,” former Obama campaign strategist David Axelrod said.