(USA Features) Major media outlets were unusually critical of Vice President Kamala Harris following her first foreign trip last week when she visited Guatemala and Mexico to discuss the ongoing migrant crisis along the U.S. southwest border.
“Vice President Harris has been given a to-do list loaded with all but impossible tasks. Immigration tops that list and was the focus of her first foreign trip. But she drew criticism for telling migrants, do not come to the U.S. border, and for not yet visiting the actual U.S.-Mexico border,” CNN’s Abby Phillips said on Sunday as she introduced a segment to discuss the trip.
She then played a video clip of Harris’ interview with “NBC Nightly News” anchor Lester Holt, who appeared to admonish the vice president when he said, “You haven’t been to the border.”
Appearing agitated, Harris responded, “And I haven’t been to Europe. I don’t understand the point that you’re making.”
It was that kind of exchange that led to some grumblings in the White House as well as among media personalities and outlets that are generally friendly to the current Democratic administration of President Joe Biden and Harris.
“It’s just a little cringeworthy, and I know that her allies in the White House and elsewhere are watching it and just kind of wondering what is going on? How poorly did this go for her in her first foray on the world stage?” Phillips said as she brought on Laura Barrón-López, Politico’s White House correspondent.
“It didn’t go the way the White House wanted it to go. Again, immigration, as you mention, is a hot potato no one wants to touch, and Harris has been dealt it, and so she has to handle now what Biden had to handle when he was VP which is relationships with the northern triangle,” said Barrón-López.
“And, of course, Republicans have been trying to clump that in with the border and the board situation and attacking her on that. Now, did the trip go the way they wanted? No. Now in 2024, 2028, if she decides to run, are people going to remember this trip? I don’t think so,” Barrón-López added.
“That’s definitely true. This is one event, maybe it’s the first, but it’s one. But there are some broader questions about is this part of a pattern? Even in the campaign, she struggled with press interviews, had some major flip-flops on the campaign trail,” Phillips said in response.
Harris was also criticized for an interview she gave to Univision’s Ilia Calderón, who pressed the vice president about when she planned to visit the U.S. border.
“I’ve said I’m going to the border,” the vice president replied. “And I –“
“When are you going to the border, Vice President?” Calderón interrupted.
“I’m not finished,” Harris intoned, laughing uncomfortably as she raised a finger at the host.
That exchange reminded many of her infamous exchanges with then-Vice President Mike Pence during their debate, when she repeatedly told him, “I’m speaking,” as he attempted to debate her.