A telling turn of phrase made for an awkward exchange from Vice President Kamala Harris when confronted on the potential of her taking the top spot on the campaign ticket over her “alive” running mate.
(Video: CBS News)
With many still doubting whether or not President Joe Biden will endure as the Democratic Party’s choice for the 2024 election, CBS News’ Bill Whitaker aimed to tackle that issue directly during his “60 Minutes” interview of the vice president.
However, the manner in which she approached her answer only added to concern about the president’s fitness for office after the journalist posited, “We were talking to some Democratic donors, and they have told us that should something befall President Biden, and he is not able to run, that there would be a free for all for who would run as president. You are in the spot that that would be a natural for you to step up, but we’re hearing from donors that they would not naturally fall into line. Why is that?”
After appearing panicked during Whitaker’s framing of the question, Harris returned to delighting in her own remarks as she replied, “Well, first of all, I’m not gonna engage in that hypothetical, ’cause Joe Biden is very much alive and running for reelection. So there we are-”
The parry wasn’t enough to deter the host who pressed, “But you do know — I mean, that is a concern. And, and a legitimate concern, I would say.”
“I hear from a lot of different people a lot of different things,” the word salad maestro countered. “But let me just tell you, I’m focused on the job. I truly am. Our democracy is on the line, Bill. And I frankly, in my head, do not have time for parlor games, when we have a president who is running for reelection. That’s it.”
Of course, the eyebrow-raising exchange was hardly “it” despite Harris’ insistence, and social media users could not help but call out her phrasing. Former Tennessee congressional hopeful and commentator Robby Starbuck reacted in part, “If your election pitch includes your vice president having to remind people that you’re alive… You might be unfit for the job.”
Another user quipped, “‘He is very much alive’ means the lights are on but nobody is home,” while others joked that her need to say it only instilled a sense of doubt.
“Joe Biden is very much alive and running for re-election” – Kamala Harris
If your election pitch includes your vice president having to remind people that you’re alive… You might be unfit for the job.pic.twitter.com/85CKhORY3u
— Robby Starbuck (@robbystarbuck) October 30, 2023
“He is very much alive” means the lights are on but nobody is home.
— It’s Me Again (@KDubSmiles) October 30, 2023
Very much alive? Weird way to word it.
— Mariana (@lonestarherd) October 30, 2023
omg. why say this unless he’s dead.
— lisamarie (@Lisa_from_SoCal) October 30, 2023
It makes it so much harder to believe that he is alive when she asserts that Biden is “very much alive.”
Can someone provide proof?
— Z 28.310 (@Wernick4Dallas) October 30, 2023
— Brian Doherty (@BDOH) October 30, 2023
The need to assert the current status of Biden’s pulse was hardly even the most outlandish moment from the interview as Harris was also challenged on the lack of favorables among key voting demographics.
Whitaker noted, “A recent CBS poll found that at the beginning of President Biden’s term, 70% of young people, people under 30, said he was doin’ a good job. Now it’s less than 50%. Why is that? What’s going on?”
After peddling work on the climate and student loans, Harris contended, “The challenge that we have as an administration is we gotta let people know who brung it to ’em.”
The journalist went on to detail how the vice president “blames the disconnect in part on lack of media coverage,” before he noted, “Still, the vice president herself is not very popular now. Just 41% of adults told CBS News they approve of the job she’s doing, about the same for President Biden,” providing a better explanation for why donors would hardly be interested in backing her to maintain the White House.
Even she did not believe it pic.twitter.com/k0BOq2gVt0
— Elon Musk Citizen Journalist (Parody) (@xcitizenjournal) October 30, 2023