A slip of the tongue by Kamala Harris, the running mate for Joe Biden, Monday raised eyebrows and gave an opportunity to critics of the Democratic presidential candidate to call him a “puppet leader.”
Harris made the misstatement during a virtual roundtable with small business owners in Arizona, where she vowed they will have an ally in the White House with the campaign’s “Build Back Better” initiative.
In the call, she started to say: “A Harris administration, together with Joe Biden as the president of the United States …,” and quickly clarified, “The Biden-Harris administration will provide access to $100 billion in low-interest loans and investments from minority business owners.”
Some Twitter users quickly seized on Harris’ gaffe saying that the truth was finally out.
“Kamala Harris accidentally touts plans under a ‘Harris administration’ during virtual roundtable That cat was dragged out of the bag so to speak. Guess we all know now who plans on running the show,” one Twitter user wrote. Another said: “Harris is just saying what we all know Joe Biden isn’t fit for office.”
However, some defended Harris and said her nomination as the vice president was no strategy.
President Donald Trump and his supporters have repeatedly attacked Biden as “a Trojan horse for socialism.” Vice President Mike Pence has said: “Joe Biden would be nothing more than a Trojan horse for the radical left.”
Biden selected Sen. Harris, D-Calif., as his running mate last month, making her the first Black woman to compete on a major party’s presidential ticket. The 55-year-old first-term senator quickly became a top contender for the No. 2 spot after her own White House campaign ended.
If elected, Biden, 77, would be the oldest person to become president. Critics on social media insinuated that Harris will be in charge if the Democrats wrest the White House from Trump in November. Trump has frequently questioned Biden’s cognitive abilities and challenged him to take a cognitive test.
“This is really auditioning to be the next leader of the Democratic Party,” former Senator Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota said of the VP nomination in August. Harry Reid, the Democratic former Senate majority leader, told The New York Times: “Joe being 77, I think people are going to look to see who is the person who could be the next president.”
In May, Biden referred to himself as a “transition candidate,” but later in August, he said that he will “absolutely” serve two terms if elected president.
In August, Jill Biden defended her husband after many raised questions about his ability to run for the presidency.
“I see Joe every single day. He’s writing speeches. He’s being briefed, making phone calls, he’s doing zoom constantly, he’s doing fundraisers. We go from nine in the morning till, gosh, 10, 11 at night I don’t see any of that,” she said on ABC’s Good Morning America at the time. “I mean, Joe is totally engaged and you know Joe, I mean he just, he loves it. He’s the, I guess, consummate politician,” she added.