VP Harris says not leaving DC ‘bubble’ more is ‘biggest failure’

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VP Harris says not leaving DC 'bubble' more is 'biggest failure'

Vice President Kamala Harris said in a new interview that her “biggest failure” is not traveling outside DC more often — brushing record-setting illegal immigration numbers and reports of White House disharmony.

“What do you think your biggest failure has been at this point?” CBS’ Margaret Brennan asked Harris in an interview that will air in full on “Face The Nation” Sunday.

“To not get out of DC more,” Harris said, laughing at her own remark and avoiding more divisive issues, such as her decision to wait three months to visit the US-Mexico border after President Biden tapped her to address the “root causes” of the migrant crisis.

The vice president’s approval rating has dipped as low as 28 percent in recent polls, well below Biden’s own relatively low ratings, and her office is in the midst of a staff exodus amid reports that Harris is unpleasant to subordinates.

Harris has been criticized for leaning on a small pool of aides and her relationship with Biden and potential rivals in the Democratic Party is closely watched due to suspicion that Biden, 79, may not seek a second term.

The veep used her answer about getting out of DC to insist that she has built a strong relationship with Biden by working “for hours on end doing Zooms or whatever” in the same room, while adding that she fears living in a “bubble.”

Kamala Harris
Harris’s staff reportedly are frustrated that Biden has handed her tough assignments.
Getty Images

“The president and I came in, you know, COVID had already started. It was — the pandemic had started. And when we came in, we really couldn’t travel, you know. A large part of the relationship that he and I have built has been being together in the same office for hours on end doing Zooms or whatever because we couldn’t get out of DC,” Harris told Brennan.

“And on issues that are about fighting for anything from voting rights to childcare to one of the issues that I care deeply about, maternal health, being with the people who are directly impacted by this work, listening to them so that they — not some pundit — tells us what their priorities are, I think, is critically important.” she added.

Harris then went on: “People have a right to know and believe that their government actually sees and hears them. And my biggest concern is I don’t ever want to be in a bubble when it comes to being aware of and in touch with what people need at any given moment in time.”

It’s unclear when Harris, who departed DC for a holiday trip to Los Angeles on Wednesday, recorded the interview.

The sitdown appears to be part of a year-end media blitz by the vice president. She recently claimed to the Wall Street Journal that she and Biden have never discussed running together again in 2024, admitted to the Los Angeles Times that the Biden administration didn’t anticipate the highly infectious Omicron variant of COVID-19 and got testy with radio host Charlamagne tha God when he asked if centrist Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) is the “real president.”

Harris’ average favorability rating is below 40 percent, according to RealClearPolitics, making her vulnerable to a potential challenge to replace Biden as the Democratic standard-bearer in 2024 or 2028.

Harris is the first female and second non-white vice president and her allies have blamed her race and gender for poor coverage. The New York Times reported this week that Harris herself has said she would get better press if she was a white man.

Kamala Harris
Harris departed DC for a holiday trip to Los Angeles on Wednesday.
Getty Images

Similarly, a former Harris aide recently told CNN that some of the VP’s supporters believe that the West Wing gives less support to Harris, who is of African and Indian ancestry, than to potential 2024 rival Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.

“It’s hard to miss the specific energy that the White House brings to defend a white man, knowing that Kamala Harris has spent almost a year taking a lot of the hits that the West Wing didn’t want to take themselves,” the former aide said.

Harris’s staff reportedly are frustrated that Biden has handed her tough assignments such as reducing illegal immigration from Central America. The VP’s other tasks include leading a stalled drive to pass a federal election reform bill, which is unlikely to pass due to opposition from Senate centrists to lifting the 60-vote legislative filibuster.

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