VP Harris Blames Negative Media Coverage on Not Being White Male: NY Times Vice President Kamala Harris speaks during an infrastructure announcement at AFL-CIO Dec. 16, 2021, in Washington, D.C. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)
By Charlie McCarthy | Thursday, 23 December 2021 10:33 AM
Vice President Kamala Harris has told confidants that news coverage of her would be different if she were a white male, The New York Times reported.
Harris also has told friends that unmanageable issues — e.g. southern border crisis, voting rights — that she has tackled have created difficulties for her, the Times reported Thursday.
"I think it's no secret that the different things she has been asked to take on are incredibly demanding, not always well understood publicly and take a lot of work as well as a lot of skill," Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg told the Times.
"You have to do everything except one thing, which is take credit."
Harris supporters, such as Rep. Karen Bass, D-Calif., say the administration should have stood up for the vice president more aggressively amid negative media coverage.
"What the White House could've done is been clearer with the expectations of what was supposed to happen under her watch," Bass, former chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus, told the Times.
In March, President Joe Biden put Harris in charge of the U.S. response to the influx of migrants that has overwhelmed the southern border.
Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas, told the Times his experiences with Harris' team had been disappointing. He said he never received a call back after his staff reached out after learning the vice president would be visiting the border.
"I say this very respectfully to her: I moved on," Cuellar told the Times. "She was tasked with that job, it doesn't look like she's very interested in this, so we are going to move on to other folks that work on this issue."
The Times said Harris asked to lead the Biden administration’s efforts on the voting rights issue.
Although she has invited activists to the White House, Harris has not developed detailed plans to work with lawmakers on a bill, a senior official in her office told the Times.
Harris' standing among the public has remained relatively low. A recent Rasmussen Reports survey found that more than half of voters have a negative opinion of the vice president and don't think she’s ready to take over if Biden leaves office.
Survey results showed that 57% of likely voters view Harris unfavorably, including 50% who have a very unfavorable impression. Only 39% have a favorable impression of Harris, including 19% who have a very favorable view of her.