Kamala Harris Defends Biden Administration in Charlamagne Interview: 'Don't Start Talking Like a Republican'

The vice president expressed frustration when the host continually asked her about Democrat Joe Manchin and wondered whether she would "be the superhero" who would save Americans from he and other lawmakers voting against the administration's agenda

Kamala Harris, Charlemagne Tha God
Kamala Harris (left), Charlemagne Tha God. Photo: Alexander Tamargo/Getty Images; Leon Bennett/WireImage

Vice President Kamala Harris pushed back on Charlamagne Tha God in an interview airing Friday evening on Comedy Central, after the host continually asked her about Democrat Joe Manchin, who Charlamagne argued is "holding up progress" and "ruining this country."

Manchin, a West Virginia senator, serves as a key vote in the upper chamber, where Democrats hold a bare majority. But the Democrat is more centrist than some progressives would like, often opposing some major liberal priorities

"You get villainized for silly things like air buds, when [Manchin is] really stopping progress," Charlamagne said in the exchange, filmed Friday afternoon for the latest episode of Tha God's Honest Truth with Charlamagne Tha God.

The vice president, 57, refrained from criticizing Manchin directly, instead acknowledging that the legislative process is "frustrating."

"Every vote matters — especially in the Senate — and we have to listen to the voices ... and then we negotiate," Harris said, adding: "Sometimes it is frustrating. Watching sausage get made, you think that's difficult? Well watching a bill get made is ... frustrating."

Asked again about Manchin's role, specifically, in holding back the administration's priorities — like a massive voting rights bill and the Build Back Better plan — Harris again held back from directly criticizing the West Virginia lawmaker.

"I think it's a mistake to try and think about this only through the lens of Democrats versus Democrats, when the fact is Republicans are consistently and unanimously standing in the way of progress," Harris said, going on to list a number of legislative priorities that are being stymied by Republicans.

Charlamagne pressed, however, saying, "We need you to be the superhero who saves democracy ... Are you willing to be that superhero?"

Harris responded by saying the administration intends to "keep fighting" to ensure its priorities are met.

Unsatisfied with her earlier answers, Charlamagne pushed ahead for his final question, asking the vice president: "So who is the president: Is it Joe Manchin or Joe Biden?"

"Come on, Charlamagne. It's Joe Biden," Harris said. "No, no, no, no. It's Joe Biden. And don't start talking like a Republican about asking whether or not he's president. It's Joe Biden. And I'm vice president and my name is Kamala Harris.And the reality is because we are in office, we do things like the child tax credit, which is going to reduce Black child poverty by 50 percent ... It is the work of saying we're going to get lead out of pipes and paint because our babies are suffering because of that. It is the work of saying people who ride public transit deserve the same kind of dignity that anybody else does. So, let's improve that system."

Harris continued: "I hear the frustration, 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."

"That Kamala Harris — that's the one I like," Charlamagne said.

Earlier in the interview, Harris was also asked by Charlamagne why she gets "crucified for every little thing," and whether she felt that stems from the fact that she is a Black woman.

"I appreciate you asking the question but my focus is on the work ... my focus is on, frankly, I can't tell you how many places — from Chicago to Charlotte to Detroit ... where fathers and mothers bring their little boys and girls up to me and say 'I want to see Kamala Harris,' or they show me a picture of their child watching me when I was sworn in. Thats what I focus on," she said.

She continued: "I think there's a healthy discussion that others can have .. but I'm going to focus on the work and I will not be distracted."

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