Jen Psaki: Sexism Contributes to Criticism of Kamala Harris

Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., speaks during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing examining issues facing prisons and jails during the coronavirus pandemic on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, June 2, 2020. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/Pool via AP)
Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/Pool via AP

As Vice President Kamala Harris faces criticism both within and without the Biden administration, White House press secretary Jen Psaki believes much of it stems from sexism.

Speaking at a Politico “Women Rule” event, Psaki claimed right-wingers unfairly target Harris due to her status as the first woman and first woman of color vice president.

“I do think that it has been easier and harsher from some in the right-wing who have gone after her because she is the first woman, the first woman of color. I’m not suggesting anyone will acknowledge that publicly,” Psaki said.

“One of the things I really admire about the vice president: She is the first African American, woman of color, Indian American woman to serve in this job — woman,” Psaki added. “It’s a lot to have on your shoulders.”

Confirming various insider reports, Psaki noted Harris “wants to be seen” as a policymaker and adviser to President Biden, not a ceremonial role.

Though Psaki admitted that both Harris and Biden have suffered with approval ratings, she felt “there have been some attacks that have been beyond because of her identity.”

Psaki’s comments comes days after the establishment media reported growing tensions between Joe Biden and Kamala Harris over her lack of defined roles in the administration.

Worn out by what they see as entrenched dysfunction and lack of focus, key West Wing aides have largely thrown up their hands at Vice President Kamala Harris and her staff — deciding there simply isn’t time to deal with them right now,” CNN began its lengthy report on Sunday.

With multiple polls putting Kamala Harris’s approval rating even lower than Joe Biden’s dismal 37.8 percent, while rumors swirl the president may not seek reelection in 2024, Democrats are scrambling to find the future leader of the party.

Inside the White House, reports indicate Team Harris has grown increasingly frustrated with Team Biden for essentially sidelining .

“Many in the vice president’s circle fume that she’s not being adequately prepared or positioned, and instead is being sidelined,” noted CNN. “The vice president herself has told several confidants she feels constrained in what she’s able to do politically.”

Hours after the CNN report on Sunday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki immediately leaped to defend Kamala Harris, praising her for a variety of unimportant tasks, such as “expanding broadband.”

“For anyone who needs to hear it. @VP is not only a vital partner to @POTUS but a bold leader who has taken on key, important challenges facing the country—from voting rights to addressing root causes of migration to expanding broadband,” tweeted Psaki.

 

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