California Senator Kamala Harris kicked off her 2020 Presidential Campaign in Oakland, California on Sunday and MSNBC's Morning Joe were big fans. After co-host Mika Brzezinski was awed by the size of the crowd, and fellow co-host Joe Scarborough stated that Harris has the "it factor." NBC Foreign Affairs Correspondent Andrea Mitchell praised Harris' message. She summarized it as "very, very strong about America is better than this, we are better than this, we are looking bad to the world, we’re encouraging, you know, racism."
Mitchell left out Harris' history of incendiary rhetoric, such as her questioning of Catholic judicial nominees by implying they are unfit because they might decide a case based on their Catholicism and not the law. The Democratic senator has implied that Brian Buescher is unfit to serve on the U.S. District Court for the District of Nebraska, because of his membership with the Knights of Columbus and because he holds positions on abortion and same-sex marriage that differ from her.
Harris' participation in attacking Buescher's membership with the Knights of Columbus was enough for Democratic Representative from Hawaii and fellow 2020 Presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard to denounce "religious bigotry" among her fellow Democrats.
Ignoring Harris' past comments are not new for the media. Recently, the networks refused to cover Harris asking the director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) if there were parallels between ICE and the Ku Klux Klan. The media have also been quiet when Harris joked about killing President Trump if she were to be stuck in an elevator with him. Harris was also once in a relationship with former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown, although Brown was married at the time.
The following is a transcript for the January 28 show:
MSNBC's Morning Joe
January 28, 2019
6:33 a.m. Eastern
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: Senator Kamala Harris officially kicked off her 2020 Presidential campaign with a rally in Oakland, California. Harris’ campaign stated that Oakland officials estimated 20,000 people attended yesterday’s kickoff in the Senator’s hometown. Look at that crowd! She was home and I think she was really strong, Joe what are your thoughts?
JOE SCARBOROUGH: Yeah, it’s so interesting trying to figure out who is going to succeed, who’s going to fail on the Presidential stage and Andrea it's sort of that “it factor” either somebody has what it takes or they don't to fill the stage. I've seen 6'4" men try to fill that the stage and look extraordinarily small, I've seen 5’4” women standing on the stage delivering a statement, looking like giants. You either have it or you don’t, there’s no predicting ‘til that moment that person walks up to the microphone and announces they’re running for President. I don’t know about you, but the second I saw her up there, I said “Wow, she's got what it takes…
ANDREA MITCHELL: It was a “Wow!”
SCARBOROUGH: …She filled that stage and she can play in the big leagues”
MITCHELL: Absolutely. She had a couple of uncertain steps along the way coming to this point, but there she was in Oakland, huge crowd and a really good speech. She had they and people around her and her core message was very, very strong about America is better than this, we are better than this, we are looking bad to the world, we’re encouraging, you know, racism. She confronted all of those issues. She’s clearly bright and you know, and has a new feeling about her, but this really came together, now, does this play in Ohio, in Michigan. I think certainly in Michigan and Pennsylvania, I don’t know whether it’s an all across the country or whether this is an East Coast-West Coast thing, but right now Kamala Harris is in a great position in this field.