President Biden was “torn” over picking Vice President Harris as running mate after describing his attack on him in a presidential debate in 2019 as “a fucking bull —“, according to a new book on Democratic insider politics.
Biden was split between Harris and Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, according to Edward-Isaac Dovere’s “Battle for the Soul: Inside the Democrats’ Campaigns to Defeat Trump,” which was released on Tuesday.
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Biden was particularly linked to Whitmer because they both had family members who had died from the same type of cancer.
“Two days before Biden announced Harris, he called [House Majority Whip Jim] Clyburn, ”Dovere wrote. “A decision that originally said it would be taken in the first week of August was already well into the second week. He knew, he knew, Biden told Clyburn, and although he was almost there, he was struggling. “I’m torn,” he said, “between my head and my heart. “
Biden and Harris already had a story. He had been blinded by his attack on him during a debate in the 2019 Democratic presidential primary.
During this debate, Harris criticized the former vice president’s comments highlighting his ability to find common ground in the 1970s with segregationist senators he disagreed with, and its decades ago opposition to federally mandated school transportation.
“Do you agree today that you were wrong to oppose the bus in America?” Harris asked Biden during the debate.
“There was a little girl in California who was in second class to enter her public schools, and she was transported to school by bus every day,” she said. “And that little girl was me.
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Biden was “baffled,” Dovere wrote.
“She thought it was a big hit,” Dovere continued. “It’s a debate,” she said, “and the debates were supposed to be about the differences. She wasn’t running for vice president, despite what so many people – Biden included – assumed. to be president, to beat Biden and all the rest of them. She wanted everyone to know that. On stage, she seized her moment. “
“A few minutes later the moderators stopped for a commercial break,” Dovere wrote. “Biden leaned over to Buttigieg, on the podium to his right. They barely knew each other, but Biden was looking for someone to share the moment with. ‘Well,’ he said. fucking bull- -. ‘”
Biden decided not to hold a grudge, but his wife Jill Biden reportedly did.
“What he cares about, what he fights for, what he’s committed to, you go up there and call him a baseless racist?” Jill Biden reportedly spoke about Harris during a phone call with close supporters a week later. “Go yourself.”
However, the first lady and Harris recently made headlines and appeared to have mended their relationship.
Biden’s choice for Harris has left other influential Democratic women, including Senator Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Behind. Biden would have chosen Warren as his running mate if he had run in 2016, Dovere wrote. She lobbied to be the 2020 choice.
“Biden’s vision was to use the selection process to raise as many women as possible, boost their careers,” Dovere wrote. “Because it went on for so long, with political journalists stranded with nothing else to do and no other story to pursue, many women felt the veepstakes were more like a contest. ‘It’s a process. horrible, horrible, ‘Warren told Harris, when they met on Capitol Hill, where John Lewis showed up a few weeks before Biden made the choice. “
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Biden’s team also had doubts about Harris, according to Dovere’s book.
“As the process peaked at the end of June, Biden’s still bitter assistants texted each other to mark the first anniversary of the hell Harris put them through in the first debate,” he wrote. . One of them said sarcastically that morning on a phone call, ‘You know what it is today? It’s the first anniversary of “That Little Girl Was Me”. presidential campaign had been. None of his presidential campaign aides would be allowed to join his team, they told him. There would be no role for his family. They would set the schedule. They would set the parameters. It has all been passed on. to it with an advantage. “
Fox News‘ Paul Steinhauser, Morgan Phillips and Andrew Murray contributed to this report.