“This is a red flag.”
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ campaign blasted out a warning email on Friday, reminding Iowa voters what so many across the country fear: Vice President Kamala Harris could one day be in charge.
The Team DeSantis campaign fundraising appeal, included a Fox News story with the headline, “Harris says she’s ready to step into role of president if Biden is unwell: ‘May have to take over.’
It’s a thought that sends shivers down the spine of conservatives everywhere, and a fair amount of more left-leaning Americans, too, according to polls.
“She’s made sure that everybody knows she’s ready to take over as President. Well, we’ve got some news for her: This Country Needs A Fighter,” the cash ask, seeking “$25 NOW” or “any amount you can!” asserts.
DeSantis isn’t the only one in the crowded field of Republican presidential candidates campaigning on the prospect that the 80-year President Joe Biden — believed by many to be in the throes of rapid mental and physical decline — might not be able to serve out his term, let alone a second.
Next woman up: Kamala.
Harris has an average favorability rating of south of 37 percent, according to the RealClearPolitics average of polls. That’s 2 percentage points lower than Biden’s dismal job approval rating in the latest CNN poll.
An Economist/YouGov poll found 57 percent of respondents held an unfavorable view of the vice president, while a late August Wall Street Journal poll showed only a third of voters had a favorable opinion of her.
Republicans have routinely criticized Harris over her tenure for “word salad” gaffes and her limited presence as second-in-command.
In July, Harris was panned for her tortured explanation of artificial intelligence to labor and civil rights leaders — one of many instances of bizarre comments the vice president has made.
“I think the first part of this issue that should be articulated is AI is kind of a fancy thing,” the vice president said during the roundtable at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, D.C. “First of all, it’s two letters. It means artificial intelligence, but ultimately what it is, is it’s about machine learning.”
“And so, the machine is taught — and part of the issue here is what information is going into the machine that will then determine — and we can predict then, if we think about what information is going in, what then will be produced in terms of decisions and opinions that may be made through that process.”
“So to reduce it down to its most simple point, this is part of the issue that we have here is thinking about what is going into a decision, and then whether that decision is actually legitimate and reflective of the needs and the life experiences of all the people,” she said.
Lincoln’s Second Inaugural speech, it was not.
Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley has made Harris’ shortcomings a top talking point in her presidential campaign.
“A vote for Joe Biden is a vote for Kamala Harris , you know that and I know that,” Haley said during an appearance on “Good Morning America” late last month. “There is no way Joe Biden is going to finish his term. I think Kamala Harris is going to be the next president and that should send a chill up every American’s spine.”
“Kamala is not up for the job, and I will continue to say that a vote for Joe Biden is a vote for Kamala Harris. That’s who we’re actually running against.” Haley said at the Republican Party of Iowa’s Lincoln Day Dinner in late July.
Fox News host Jesse Waters last week asked Haley if she thought the line of attack was gaining traction.
“Well, I think first of all that I was speaking a hard truth, that we all know Joe Biden thinks that he’s going to run and win this election then he’s going to hand it off to a President Kamala Harris, which should scare all of us,” the former South Carolina governor said.
Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has said the same since at least February. If elected, Biden would be 82 at his inauguration; and 86 at the end of his term.
“I mean, what we see continuously in those polls, is if you think the public isn’t enthusiastic about Joe Biden, they’re even less enthusiastic about Kamala Harris. And with a guy who’s 82 years old, one of the key questions of the ’24 race is going to be if you’re voting for Joe Biden, you may be voting for President Kamala Harris, too. And how do you feel about that?” Christie told ABC’s “This Week” in early February.
Many Americans feel worried about that possibility. Harris posted the lowest net-negative rating in NBC News’ polling history.
The VP chalks it all up to politics. Her opponents are just jealous, she insists.
“They feel the need to attack because they’re scared that we will win based on the merit of the work that Joe Biden and I, and our administration has done,” she recently told CBS News’ “Face the Nation.”
DeSantis is raising campaign funds on just how scared Republicans are at the possibility of a Harris presidency.
“We know Joe Biden is doing serious damage to our country, but we’re really not interested in finding out how much more decline our nation would experience under a ‘leader’ who .. after 3 years of being vice president .. has yet to actually do her job and has instead launched baseless claims at Ron DeSantis because she KNOWS he’s the only threat to their ticket in this race,” said the governor, who has feuded with Harris over woke education policies.
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M.D. Kittle is the National Political Editor for The Star News Network.