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Wednesday, July 10, 2024 | Back issues
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Harris praises Biden achievements, slams Trump in Dallas speech

Harris also reminded members of the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority that GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump vowed to "terminate" the U.S. Constitution.

DALLAS (CN) — Vice President Kamala Harris touted the Biden administration's achievements in a speech in Dallas Wednesday, remaining silent on recent calls for President Joe Biden to drop out of the 2024 election.

Harris gave a keynote address at the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority’s 71st biennial Boulé. The sorority, which Harris is a member of, is the oldest historically Black sorority in the United States.

The speech was the latest event in the vice president’s “Summer of Engagement” speaking tour, which includes stops in New Orleans, Las Vegas, Dallas and Indianapolis to reach out to key constituencies including Black Americans, women and young people. Harris kicked off the tour Saturday with a moderated conversation at the 30th Essence Festival of Culture in New Orleans.

The campaign is particularly notable as some Democratic politicians and donors have called on Biden to withdraw from the 2024 race after his shaky performance in the first presidential debate.

Biden has thus far resisted calls to step aside, but many feel that if he does, Harris would be the most likely to replace him as the Democratic nominee. As his current running mate, she would have the easiest access to the Biden campaign’s war chest, and recent polls show Harris performing better than Biden against Donald Trump in a hypothetical matchup.

But in her speech, Harris ignored questions of the president’s age and instead focused on policy achievements by the Biden administration, including forgiving student loan debt, capping the cost of insulin for Medicare enrollees and removing medical debt from credit reports. She also announced the Biden administration will be implementing the first-ever national standards for maternal health care.

“Nearly every hospital in our country will soon be required to provide new mothers with delivery rooms that are fully stocked with life-saving medical equipment,” she said.

As vice president, Harris has made maternal health a particular focus. Two years ago, she announced a whole-of-government approach to combating the maternal mortality crisis.

Harris also used her speech to warn of the dangers of a second Trump presidency, calling the 2024 race “the most existential, consequential and important election of our lifetimes.”

“Donald Trump has openly vowed, if reelected, he’ll be a dictator on day one,” Harris said. “That he will weaponize the Department of Justice against his political enemies, round up peaceful protesters and throw them out of our country, and even, and I quote, ‘terminate’ the United States Constitution."

She also criticized recent abortion bans in states like Texas.

“In the South, where a majority of Black women call home, every state except for Virginia has a ban, many with no exception even for rape or incest,” Harris said. “One does not have to abandon their faith or deeply held beliefs to agree, the government should not be telling her what to do with her body.”

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