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Kamala Harris

Kamala Harris knocks Donald Trump at Essence Festival – but doesn't address Joe Biden's disastrous debate

WASHINGTON− As President Joe Biden tries to turn the tide after his disastrous debate performance last month, Vice President Kamala Harris is seeking to keep the focus on Republican opponent Donald Trump.

Harris during remarks on Saturday at the Essence Festival of Culture in New Orleans called the 2024 race for the White House "probably the most significant election of our lifetime," telling the crowd “In 122 days, we each have the power to decide what kind of country we want to live in.”

The vice president during her interview with Essence CEO Caroline Wanga zeroed in on Trump's criminal conviction in his New York hush money case, threats to go after political opponents and the recent Supreme Court decision granting presidents immunity from prosecution for official actions.

"The United States Supreme Court essentially told this individual who has been convicted of 34 felonies that he will be immune from essentially the activity he has told us he is prepared to engage in if he gets back into the White House," Harris said.

Still, the vice president spoke as Democrats nationwide debate whether or not Biden should withdraw from the presidential campaign and allow Harris to carry the party banner against Trump and his Republican allies.

During the Saturday interview, Harris did not discuss Biden's troubles in the wake of his poor debate performance. She mentioned the president's name only once, in connection with the administration plan to eliminate student debt. Biden has repeatedly said he is not exiting this year's presidential race.

As for Trump, Harris also cited the former president's opposition to abortion rights as well as plans for presidents to wield more power should get back into the White House.

Trump “has openly talked about his intention to weaponize the Department of Justice against his political enemies, (he) has talked about being proud of taking from the women of America a most fundamental right to make decisions about your own body.”

The former president has proposed a series of measures that would basically give presidents authority to hire and fire more government officials. Trump's plans would give the president expanded executive control to impose new policies without congressional approval; it would also enable him to push investigations of political opponents.

He has also said he wants states to control their own abortion restrictions or bans, backing the standard the Supreme Court ushered in after overturning Roe v. Wade in 2022.

Trump has also been critical of Kamala Harris in recent days, attacking her 2020 Democratic primary bid in a July 4 post on Truth Social. He also called her "pathetic" in a video taken at his Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, that he also shared on his social media platform.

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