Reports that the honeymoon between the president and vice president is over have been greatly exaggerated, the White House says.
“For anyone who needs to hear it, @VP is not only a vital partner to @POTUS but a bold leader who has taken on key, important challenges facing the country,” tweeted press secretary Jen Psaki on Sunday night.
She appeared to be responding to a CNN report on Sunday that described Kamala Harris’s first year in office as a “frustrating start as vice president,” citing interviews with nearly three dozen former and current Harris aides, administration officials, Democratic operatives, donors and outside advisers. The piece used terms such as “exasperation and dysfunction” to describe the vice president’s staff, and said the commander-in-chief’s second-in-command is being “sidelined.”
Indeed, The Hill columnist Joe Concha notes that it’s been more than 150 days since her last sit-down interview with a major broadcast news show, when Lester Holt called her out on NBC for not visiting the the U.S.-Mexico border despite being put in charge of the migrant crisis there. Her response — giving a short laugh and saying, “And I haven’t been to Europe” — drew some flak, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) tweeting that Harris “thinks the border crisis is a hilarious joke.”
“The [CNN] piece used terms such as “exasperation and dysfunction” to describe the vice president’s staff, and said the commander-in-chief’s second-in-command is being “sidelined.” ”
The CNN report also claimed that the tension runs both ways between the Harris and Biden teams, especially with Harris being put in “no-win political situations” such as managing the border. Last week, USA Today and Suffolk University released a poll that found Harris’s approval rating had sunk to 28% — which was lower than Biden’s 38% approval rating in the same poll. This fell well below her 40% approval rating in RealClearPolitics moving average of surveys as of Nov. 9.
The story led Harris to trend on Google and Twitter well into Monday morning. And some of Harris’s staffers began defending their office on Sunday, a few hours before Psaki chimed in.
Simone Sanders, the vice president’s chief spokeswoman, responded by tweeting her disappointment that “some in the media are focused on gossip — not on the results that the President and Vice President have delivered” with the infrastructure bill.
Deputy Press Secretary Sabrina Singh also tweeted, “Honored to work for @VP every day. She’s focused on the #BuildBackBetter agenda and delivering results for the American people.”
Her tweet was retweeted Rachel Palermo, the assistant press secretary to the vice [resident, who also tweeted “Proud to be on team @VP every single day.”