Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio praised Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris’ work ethic, and said that the senator is “engaged and active” in her work on the Senate Intelligence Committee.
His comments were published in an article by BuzzFeed News on Thursday, which took a closer look into Harris’ role on the Senate’s secretive committee, which frequently meets behind closed doors to discuss matters of national security.
The article featured a slew of interviews, which included comments from both Democrats and Republicans, about Harris’ role on the committee.
Virginia Sen. Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the committee, was one of many in the article who praised Harris’ performance on the Senate Intelligence Committee, and said that the senator had been influential in its discussions even though she’d only served on the committee for two years, per BuzzFeed News.
Rubio, a Florida senator since 2011, notably ran against President Donald Trump for the Republican Party’s nomination for president in 2016. The two often clashed during the primary race. On Super Tuesday in March 2016, Rubio said that he believed that then-candidate Trump was a “con artist,” per PBS. But as The Washington Post noted earlier this year, the Florida Republican has changed his tune and has since supported the 45th president on numerous occasions.
Meanwhile, as BuzzFeed News reported, Harris has received the most attention for her role as a prosecutor in the state of California. While Harris has often claimed that she helped to reform the criminal justice system in her roles as state prosecutor, district attorney, and state attorney general, critics say her policies were not progressive enough, per Vox.
As Vox reported, Harris has a contradictory record on these issues in what it chalks up to a “balancing act” it said she faced in these roles between her experiences, her race, her gender, and the expectations of the position.
How Kamala Harris thrived on the Senate’s powerful, Secretive Intelligence Committeehttps://t.co/o4MNOEvN5B
— BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) August 8, 2019
Still, fellow presidential hopeful and lawmaker Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii notably tore into Harris at the second Democratic Party primary debate, hosted by CNN at the end of July. Gabbard attacked Harris’ record as a prosecutor and said that the polices that she pursued in her previous roles in California did not align with her more progressive present-day presidential campaign.
“Kamala’s entire campaign is based on a lie — that as AG of California, she was a fighter for the oppressed and for criminal justice reform,” the Hawaii Democrat tweeted. “But her criminal justice record shows that her policies exemplified the worst aspects of our criminal justice system.”
According to FiveThirtyEight, Harris has slipped in recent polls following her performance in CNN’s debates. Harris, who received attention following the first debates for her attacks on frontrunner and former Vice President Joe Biden, dropped by about three points. Per FiveThirtyEight, Harris showed the largest decline of any candidate following the second round of debating.
As BuzzFeed noted, were Harris to become president, she would be the first person to serve on the Senate Intelligence Committee to be elected to the nation’s highest office.