In an exclusive interview with NBC News' "Meet the Press," the vice president said Americans expect their president to "raise the alarm" to external or internal threats.
Vice President Kamala Harris said anti-democratic forces that have emerged in the mainstream of American politics have made the nation weaker at home and undermined our legitimacy overseas, joining President Joe Biden in describing it as a major threat.
Asked in an interview that aired Sunday on NBC News' "Meet the Press" whether the threats from within the U.S. pose a risk equal to or greater than what the nation faced 21 years ago on 9/11, Harris drew upon the oaths of office she had taken as a prosecutor, California's attorney general, a senator and vice president to uphold the Constitution “against all enemies, foreign and domestic — and we don’t compare the two.”
“It is very dangerous and, I think, very harmful. And it makes us weaker,” Harris said.
She singled out elected leaders — including those running now to oversee elections in some states — who continue to question the integrity of voting, and others who have refused to condemn the Jan. 6 insurrection.
“I think what it sends is a signal that causes people to question, ‘Hey, is America still valuing what they talk about?’” she said. “I think that through the process of what we’ve been through, we’re starting to allow people to call into question our commitment to those principles. And that’s a shame.”
Now less than 60 days before the midterm elections, both Biden and Harris are touting the administration’s suddenly bolstered record of accomplishment and underscoring what they see as threats to freedoms such as the right to vote and abortion rights, with Harris in the interview blasting what she called an “activist” Supreme Court that overturned Roe v. Wade.
Speaking at a judicial conference Friday, Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts responded to those who have questioned the court's legitimacy, according to the Colorado Springs' Gazette newspaper. “The court has always decided controversial cases and decisions have always been subject to intense criticism, and that is entirely appropriate,” Roberts said, according to the report. "But I don’t understand the connection between the opinions people disagree with and the legitimacy of the Supreme Court.”
But both Biden and Harris have also worked to paint a stark contrast with what they have described as fringe but maintain there are powerful forces within the GOP that threaten the nation’s very character.
Harris defended Biden’s stark language about what he has called extremist “MAGA” Republicans, including describing them as “semi-fascist.”
“Joe Biden has spent his entire career ... working across the aisle, his whole career. Sometimes he’s been criticized for believing in bipartisanship, for believing in compromise, for believing in working across the aisle, finding common ground,” she said.
“But there are moments in time when we have to also agree, all good people who care about our country, that there are those who right now are vividly not defending our democracy," Harris added. "And I think we want that our commander in chief, that the president of the United States, will speak up and raise the alarm about what this means to our strength and our future, much less our integrity.”