Frustrated Kamala Harris clashes with CNN’s Anderson Cooper after Biden’s rough debate

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Frustrated Kamala Harris clashes with CNN’s Anderson Cooper after Biden’s rough debate

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Vice President Kamala Harris clashed with CNN’s Anderson Cooper Thursday night after President Biden’s widely panned debate performance, growing frustrated as he pointed out Democratic Party concerns with its standard-bearer.

Cooper recounted to Harris that even “some within your own party” thought Biden should potentially step aside from seeking the presidency, following a halting, raspy performance that alarmed liberal media and Democratic allies.

“What we saw tonight is the president making a very clear contrast with Donald Trump on all of the issues that matter to the American people,” Harris said. “Yes, there was a slow start, but it was a strong finish.”

As Harris defended Biden as strong on “policy and performance,” Cooper interrupted to say it was highly disappointing to his supporters.

Vice President Kamala Harris on CNN on June 27, 2024.

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“Democratic lawmakers watching the debate were worried about the performance. One said it was a disaster and another called it a trainwreck. Those are Democrats especially worried that Biden did not punch back on Trump‘s lies,” Cooper said. 

“People can debate on style points, but ultimately, this election and who is the president of the United States has to be about substance,” Harris said, lambasting Trump as a liar and calling out his answers on January 6, accepting the election results, and abortion.

As Harris ripped into Trump, Cooper cut over her again, saying, “All that may be true, but the President of the United States was not able to make that case to Donald Trump on the stage tonight.”

“You debated against then-Vice President Biden four years ago, and he was a very different person on the stage four years ago when you debated him. That‘s certainly true, is it not?” Cooper asked. 

“I got the point that you’re making about a one-and-a-half hour debate tonight,” Harris said. “I‘m talking about three-and-a-half years of performance in work that has been historic.”

Trump and Biden recent split

Former President Donald Trump was widely viewed as the winner of the first presidential debate on Thursday. (Getty Images)

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Cooper continued to speak over Harris, asking if that man on the debate stage was who she saw every day.

“I‘m not going to spend all night with you talking about the last 90 minutes when I‘ve been watching the last three-and-a-half years of performance,” she snapped.

Cooper continued to press, saying this was the sort of debate and rules that the campaign wanted.

“Can you say that you are not concerned at all having watched the president‘s performance tonight?” Cooper asked. 

“It was a slow start, I‘m not going to debate that,” Harris admitted. “I‘m talking about the choice in November. I‘m talking about one of the most important elections in our collective lifetime, and do we want to look at what November will bring and go on a course for America that is about a destruction of democracy.”

She went on that there were “extraordinary stakes” in this election and, as she said in other interviews, Biden had the endorsement of his vice president – Mike Pence is famously not supporting former President Trump in 2024.

Kamala Harris on Jimmy Kimmel Live

Vice President Kamala Harris. (Screenshot/ABC)

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Cooper noted neither candidate had laid out the race as “coherently” as she had. 

Harris tersely thanked Cooper at the end of one of the more contentious media interviews she’s had in her career.

A CNN flash poll found 67 percent of debate watchers thought Trump had won, while just 33 percent thought Biden had.

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