Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) slammed President Trump’s plan for a border wall and pushed for “Medicare for All” as she formally launched her run for the Democratic presidential nomination Sunday.
“I’m running to fight for an America where the economy works for working people,” Harris announced to the crowd in Oakland, her hometown. “I am running to declare, once and for all, that health care is a fundamental right, and to deliver that right with ‘Medicare for All.’ To declare education is a fundamental right, and we will guarantee that right with universal pre-k and debt-free college.”
Harris, who was elected to the United States Senate in 2016 and previously served as California’s Attorney General, condemned and criticized the Trump administration’s hard stance on immigration and considered the wall to be “a medieval vanity project.”
“Folks, on the subject of transnational gangs, let’s be perfectly clear: The president’s medieval vanity project is not going to stop them,” Harris claimed.
“When we have children in cages, crying for their mothers and fathers, don’t you dare call that border security,” Harris said. “That’s a human rights abuse.”
Harris also stated she would reverse the current administration’s tax cuts to pay for what she considered to be “the largest working and middle-class tax cut in decades.” She also stated, “the American Dream and our American democracy are under attack and on the line like never before.”
“America, we are better than this,” Harris said. “People in power are trying to convince us that the villain in our American story is each other. But that is not our story. That is not who we are. That’s not our America. The United States of America is not about us against them. It’s about ‘We the People.’”
Harris’ campaign slogan “For the People” was alluded to in her speech as to what it meant to her.
“‘For the People’ meant fighting for a more fair criminal justice system at the height of the war on drugs by creating a first-of-its-kind initiative to allow first-time offenders to get skills and job training instead of jail time — at a time when reentry and prevention and redemption were not in the vocabulary or mindset of most district attorneys,” Harris claimed, who also said that America’s criminal justice system needs “massive reform.”
“I’m running to fight for an America where the economy works for all people. For an America where you only have to work one job to pay the bills,” Harris said to the cheering Oakland crowd.
Harris, who has faced very little scrutiny in previous races, has largely avoided interviews and is considered by many to be the least vetted Democrat running for the nomination.
“It’s fitting that Harris chose the most liberal district in deep-blue California to launch her campaign,” said RNC Spokesman Michael Ahrens. “Government-run health care, weaker borders and higher taxes might be popular there, but her liberal policies are totally out-of-step with most Americans. President Trump has led this country to record economic highs and strengthened our national security, and it’s why he’s going to be re-elected in 2020.”
Larry Wallace, a senior adviser for Sen. Harris, resigned in December after the Sacramento Bee “inquired about a $400,000 harassment and retaliation settlement resulting from his time working for Harris at the California Department of Justice.”
Harris claimed she was unaware that one of her top aides engaged in inappropriate workplace behavior that led to the settlement.
Harris, who has not had a bill signed into law, joins a long list of Democrats who are also eyeing the nomination, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY).
Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), and Bernie Sanders (D-VT) have signaled they may also seek the nomination.