Along with appearing on ABC’s Good Morning America, Vice President Kamala Harris joined Wednesday’s CBS Mornings to promote President Biden’s agenda following Tuesday’s State of the Union address and, while it was plenty soft, it got even more cuddly as co-host and Democratic donor Gayle King twice tried to make sure Harris was “feeling okay” in reference to a series of hit pieces and vague statements from leading Democrats about her influence and staying power in the party.
King’s tease made clear it would be soft as she told views that “Harris will tell us if Mr. Biden can overcome deep political divisions.” She opened the interview with a softball asking whether she agreed with the fact that Biden “seemed to thrive in the give and take” with Republicans while they’ve been panned as “rude” and “obnoxious”.
The second question was another gag as she first gushed that Biden “laid out very nicely what your administration has accomplished and did it in great detail,” but the American people just won’t come into reality as polling shows “Americans still think the economic policies are making their lives worse.”
“[W]e know the laundry list of all the things that have [been] accomplished, but yet for some reason, for many people, the message isn’t translating. What are you saying to that? What are you doing about that,” she asked.
After a weak toss on whether Harris was “pleased with how [the administration] handled the Chinese spy balloon," King arrived at the point where she treated Harris as though she were a friend.
Gushing that Biden “was firing on all cylinders,” King said she “want[ed] to know how you are feeling”:
Your supporters are saying you personally are taking a lot of incoming. Will she be on the ticket, will she not be on the ticket? She seems to be in a damned if she does, damned if she doesn’t situation. How are you feeling about the job these days that you’re doing and people’s perception of you on the ticket?
With a nervous cackle, Harris said she will “be running with” Biden as “he intends to run” in 2024 and, besides that, she “love[s] the American people” and doing “important, good work” for them.
King remained concerned: “All right, I — I know you’re very busy, Madam Vice President, but I think people want to know are you feeling okay? Doing okay? You didn’t answer that question.”
Harris again half-cackled before saying she’s “doing quite well” and she “appreciate[s]” King for asking.
Earlier in the coverage, CBS had some color that ABC and NBC did on the speech, but it was indeed less bountiful.
“President spoke about what he believes are his achievements from his first two years in office, including some encouraging signs for the economy and proposed what he called a blueprint to rebuild America. He pleaded for bipartisanship, but parts of his speech were met with heckling from some members of the GOP,” summarized co-host David Begnaud.
Chief White House correspondent Nancy Cordes replied that Tuesday was “may have been the rowdiest State of the Union in history” as “President Biden was literally yelled at repeatedly by some of his opponents.”
Cordes framed it as a positive development soured by Republicans (click “expand”):
CORDES: President Biden’s second State of the Union address started with a show of bipartisanship as he congratulated the new House speaker, Republican Kevin McCarthy.
BIDEN: Speaker, I don’t want to ruin your reputation, but I look forward to working with you.
CORDES: But the night quickly took a turn.
REPUBLICANS: The border! The border!
CORDES: McCarthy had to shush members of his own party at least four times as they booed and interrupted the President when he talked about China —
REPUBLICANS: The border! The border!
CORDES: — about fentanyl —
HOUSE REPUBLICAN: It’s your fault!
CORDES: — and when he noted that some Republicans have proposed cutting Medicare and Social Security.
Senator John Thune (R-SD) came on after and two of the three questions were framed as how Republicans would meet Democrats to further Biden’s agenda (click “expand”):
DOKOUPIL: I want to get into some of the topics of this address but also the tone because there were public moments of disagreement we’re not used to seeing at a State of the Union. The President was called a liar a couple times. There were some outbursts about whether he was to blame for the fentanyl crisis. There were definitely Rocky Horror Picture Show vibes at various moments there and, before we get into the content, I’m curious what you think the American people should take away from what they saw last night?
BEGNAUD: There were some moments of bipartisanship, right? The President mentioned more police resources and he recognized the family of Tyre Nichols and there were a lot of Republicans who clapped and stood for that. Are Republicans ready to work with Democrats on police reform?
DOKOUPIL: You know, Senator, on this question of the debt ceiling, there was a moment -- and this is one of those call in response moments where the President criticized some Republicans for wanting to make cuts to Social Security, some changes there. He’s referring to a proposal from Senator Rick Scott, someone who I’ve actually talked to on this subject, but just to, you know, be abundantly clear for the American people, where does your party stand on cuts to Social Security and Medicare?
King’s syrupy check-in on Harris’s well-being as though she were an advocate and not a journalist was made possible thanks to advertisers such as Ashley Homestore and Consumer Cellular. Follow the links to see their contact information at the MRC’s Conservatives Fight Back page.
To see the relevant transcript from February 8, click here.