TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA — On Monday, Ron DeSantis blasted Vice President Kamala Harris, accusing her of being President Biden’s “impeachment insurance.” He also questioned who might ultimately pull the strings if she had to take over from Biden.
WHO’S WAITING IN THE WINGS?
“I also look and think about who’s waiting in the wings with Kamala,” DeSantis told Laura Ingraham in an interview.
“In terms of the aptitude, even though she’s a lot younger, I think she’s basically been his impeachment insurance because people know – no matter how bad Biden is – nobody wants Harris, and that’s just the reality, and that’s a sad situation America finds ourselves in,” DeSantis said.
Many have speculated that President Biden is a “puppet” – including Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy, who told Fox News: “He’s not really running for president.”
But what about Kamala?
“I think it’s a farce that Biden is actually the one running for president,” Ramaswamy said. “Nominally, he is – but the essence of what’s going on is this is the managerial class putting up their puppet, their stooge.”
Since taking office, Harris has been under intense scrutiny and the target of snubs from both Democrats and Republicans. She’s been widely criticized for her performance – or lack thereof – in waves of negative attacks.
Harris has been under the spotlight more than any other modern-day vice president, leading to a defensive messaging strategy from her team, often posting how she is in lockstep with President Joe Biden. But her office has been in turmoil since day one.
Last year, more than 13 high-profile aides left the vice president’s office, citing an unhealthy work environment rife with dissent. In January, Jamal Simmons, Harris’ second communications director in two years, quit – and the position is still open.
The abysmal retention record continues to make headlines, creating an image of instability in the vice president’s office. But shortly before Biden announced his reelection campaign, two new advisors joined Harris’ team.
Stephanie Young, a veteran Democrat aide, was brought on to be Vice President Harris’ new senior advisor. A White House official told CNN that Young’s role would “mirror that of an inner circle senior counselor meant to be at the nexus of political engagement and messaging.”
Not only did Young serve in the Obama administration, but she was the executive director of When We All Vote, a voter registration initiative launched by former First Lady Michelle Obama.
“Over the past five years, I’ve seen Stephanie become a strategic, creative, and passionate leader who has left a lasting mark on the way Americans engage with their democracy,” Michelle Obama wrote in a press release announcing Young’s departure.
ANTI-GUN IMMIGRATION ACTIVIST
In August, Harris announced that Sergio Gonzales would serve as senior advisor to the vice president during the reelection campaign. Gonzales is an anti-gun activist and the former executive director of the Immigration Hub, which believes all 11 million (the actual number is hard to estimate due to the open southern border) undocumented aliens should be granted citizenship.
Gonzales served in the Obama-Biden administration at the Office of Personnel Management, leading efforts to diversify the federal hiring process as deputy chief of staff. He also served on both Obama’s and Hillary Clinton’s campaigns, and will be working alongside Julie Chavez Rodriguez – an Obama administration veteran and granddaughter of labor leader Cesar Chavez.
Harris has become more active in recent months, traveling to battleground states like Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. In July, she visited Florida and spoke out against the state’s new black history education standards, sparking a public feud with Governor Ron DeSantis.
According to Gonzales, Harris will campaign more as the 2024 presidential race heats up, focusing on issues she is passionate about – including abortion, gun control and the economy.
“She’s going to be everywhere,” Gonzales said. “This is just the hard work ethic of the vice president. She does not stop.”
Today, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) announced impeachment proceedings against President Biden, launching a probe into what McCarthy called a “culture of corruption.” The news comes as Washington heads toward a potential government shutdown this month.
McCarthy was vague on the details of the impeachment probe but asserted there were “serious and credible allegations” against Biden. The California Republican is bypassing a House floor vote to open an inquiry.