The first-term California senator, who announced her candidacy on Monday, plans a speech at a rally in Oakland, her hometown, later Sunday, as she outlines her campaign.
"Do something", Harris said in her impressive speech that lasted for more than 30 minutes. "Too many black and brown Americans are being locked up", the Senator said. Harris also won a $25 billion settlement for California homeowners hit by the foreclosure crisis, but drew criticism when she did not prosecute Steven Mnuchin's OneWest Bank for foreclosure violations in 2013. Harris stated that "the people" were her one client her whole life, and that she dedicated herself to them by advocating for sexual assault survivors and a more fair criminal justice system, as well as fighting against transnational gangs and their drug and human trafficking activities.
It was just one in a litany of accusations delivered over 35 minutes, like a lawyer laying out her prosecutorial brief.
"As we embark on this campaign, I will tell you this: I am not flawless". She reportedly said, "I know her character". She also said that, as president, she would "always speak with decency and moral clarity and treat all people with dignity and respect". "We need to speak their truth so that we can deal with it". "And I will speak the truth". "That is not who we are". "America, we are better than this". But that is not our story. So let's answer that question, America. "That's not our America".
Harris, who was elected to the Senate in 2016, started her political career as a prosecutor in Oakland before becoming San Francisco district attorney and California attorney general. It's also where former President Barack Obama ― then the junior senator from IL ― drew 10,000 people in the early stages of his own presidential bid, in March 2007.
Harris' campaign held the rally at Frank H. Ogawa Plaza.
She also talked up her time as a prosecutor and California's attorney general, a sore point with some on the Democratic Party's left.
But Harris' Columbia stop caps off a busy week for SC, which, as of Friday, rolled out the welcome mat for four 2020 Democratic hopefuls - all US senators. She's a spark. You're right she's a spark. "She has tried to reform it from the inside", James said.
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Harris also criticized the Trump administration for fostering division.
"Senator Kamala Harris is running to turn back the progress made over the last two years" said RNC spokeswoman Mandi Merritt. Another reporter noted that they tried to count how many news cameras were at the rally, but they had to stop counting at 80 because there were too many to count.
This is Harris' first trip since the fall to SC - a crucial proving ground, particularly for Democratic presidential hopefuls testing out their messaging with a largely black electorate. Kamala Harris Friday night in her first S.C. visit since she declared a run for president in 2020.
Several attendees spoke of the symbolic importance of Harris' candidacy. "I just want somebody who can win".
"She's anti-death penalty, that's in agreement of where I am at".
Quoting the former presidential candidate Robert Kennedy, Harris said challenging an incumbent is not easy.
"For me it's between her and Elizabeth Warren, but she absolutely helped her case today", Williams said. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, a Democrat, announced earlier this month that she is running.
Harris, who has faced very little scrutiny in previous races, has largely avoided interviews and is considered by many to be the least vetted Democrat running for the nomination. Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.) and former San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro ― Harris has wasted no time, with an apparent strategy of outpacing the rest of the field.