Joe Biden Reaffirms Kamala Harris Will Be His 2024 Running Mate

The president praised the vice president’s handling of voting rights even as Republicans and a pair of Democrats blocked legislation once again

Biden and Harris
President Joe Biden. Photo: NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty

President Joe Biden again told reporters that Vice President Kamala Harris will be his running mate when he seeks reelection in 2024.

During a two-hour press conference in the East Room of the White House on Wednesday, Biden, 79, answered questions on a wide range of topics — from inflation to the pandemic, supply chain issues, a possible invasion of Ukraine by Russia, voting rights and more.

It was during a line of questioning about voting rights legislation, which was headed that night for another defeat in Congress, that Harris' name came up.

"You put Vice President Harris in charge of voting rights," a reporter asked the president. "Are you satisfied with her work on this issue? And can you guarantee— do you commit that she will be your running mate in 2024, provided that you run again?"

"Yes and yes," Biden said.

Asked if he cared to respond, Biden said, "There's no need to."

"She is going to be my running mate, No. 1," he added. "And No. 2, I did put her in charge. I think she's doing a good job."

President Joe Biden
Susan Walsh/AP/Shutterstock

Republicans in Congress have repeatedly blocked a voting rights bill, which they argue amounts to federal intrusion, using the Senate's filibuster rule that increases the threshold of votes needed to pass legislation to 60.

A proposed change to that rule — which would lower the number of necessary votes to a simple majority, allowing Harris to break a 50-50 tie — specifically for voting rights was unsuccessful with two Democrats, Sens. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, joining Republicans in their opposition.

Since being inaugurated with Biden last January as the first woman vice president or first Black or Asian person in the office, Harris has been tasked with a swath of thorny issues, including immigration. She has also contended with weak polling and regular scrutiny about her press appearances, though her supporters say she is under unique pressure as a barrier-breaker and handles the role like past vice presidents.

"Polls go up and down, but we have to remain consistent in fighting for the American people and their needs," Harris told CBS News on Thursday. "And so that is the strategy about staying focused"

Earlier this week, the president and vice president paid tribute to Martin Luther King Jr., and pushed their voting rights case, urging lawmakers to come around to get legislation passed.

"Years from now our children and our grandchildren, they will ask us about this moment," Harris said, after she and Biden met with the civil rights' leader's family. "They will look back on this time and they will ask us not about how we felt. They will ask us what did we do."

U.S. President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris
U.S. President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris. Dustin Chambers/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Biden's praise of Harris this week follows reports of a "rocky relationship" within the White House, which Harris has dismissed. Staff departures in the vice president's office have also fueled speculation that she has had difficulty finding her footing in the administration during its first year.

Harris also called some unflattering media coverage of her "ridiculous" and acknowledged the very nature of her role is challenging.

"There is nothing about this job that is supposed to be easy," Harris said in December. "If something is coming to me, it's because it needs to be addressed and because, by definition, it's not going to be easy. If it was easy, it would have been handled before it comes to me."

Updated by
Aaron Parsley

Aaron Parsley has been a part of PEOPLE's digital team for more than 15 years.

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