Joe Biden made his first appearance with newly chosen running mate Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., on Wednesday, saying her candidacy is an inspiration for little girls around the country.
"This is a serious moment for our nation," Biden told his campaign event, hailing Harris as "tough, smart" and "ready to do this job." "I have no doubt I picked the right person to be the next vice president of the United States of America.
"This morning all across the nation, little girls woke up, especially little black and brown girls, who so often feel overlooked and undervalued in their communities, but today just maybe they're seeing themselves for the first time in a new way as the stuff of president and vice presidents," Biden said.
Biden, 77, is also betting the California senator's historic profile and confrontational style against President Donald Trump will boost Democrats' efforts to oust the Republican president amid cascading national crises.
"Joe, I'm so proud to stand with you," Harris, 55, said after her introduction. "And I do so mindful of all the heroic and ambitious women before me whose sacrifice, determination, and resilience makes my presence here today even possible. This is a moment of real consequence for America. Everything we care about, our economy, our health, our children, the kind of country we live in, it's all on the line."
Biden fired back at Trump's quick criticisms of Harris after her selection was announced Tuesday.
"You all knew it was coming; you could have set your watches to it," Biden said. "Donald Trump has already started his attacks, calling Kamala, quote, 'nasty,' whining about how she's, quote, 'mean' to his appointees.
"It's no surprise, because whining is what Donald Trump does best, better than any president in American history. Is anyone surprised Donald Trump has a problem with strong women across the board? We know that more is to come."
Biden also spent a portion of his introduction attacking Trump for the coronavirus pandemic and the economic fallout, delivering his message from a script.
"She's going to stand with me and this campaign and all of us are going to stand up for her," he added. "On Jan. 20, 2021, we're all going to watch Sen. Harris raise her right hand and swear the oath of office as the first woman ever to serve in the second highest office in America in this land."
He also noted Harris' husband will be an American first if they are election to the White House.
"Doug, you're going to have to learn what it means to be a barrier breaker yourself in this job you're about to take on: America's first second gentleman," Biden said.
The former primary rivals appeared at a high school in Biden's Delaware hometown to discuss their shared vision for how to defeat Trump and then lead the country through a pandemic, its economic fallout and a long-simmering reckoning with racism. Harris and Biden then will sit down together for an online fundraiser designed to let small donors get a fresh glimpse of what the Democratic presidential ticket will look like together.
In a reflection of coronavirus guidelines, there were no adoring throngs that would greet a new running mate in a routine campaign and certainly one with Harris' historical significance. The daughter of Jamaican and Indian immigrants, she is the first Black woman and first person of Asian descent to join a major party presidential ticket.
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