President Donald Trump on Wednesday morning cast California Sen. Kamala Harris as a dream opponent, pointing to her lackluster showing in the 2020 Democratic primary as his campaign searches for effective lines of attack against the presumptive vice presidential nominee.
“[email protected] started strong in the Democrat Primaries, and finished weak, ultimately fleeing the race with almost zero support,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “That’s the kind of opponent everyone dreams of!”
The president made similar remarks at a White House news conference Tuesday, where he said Harris “did very poorly” in her party’s nominating contest, and repeatedly referred to her treatment of Justice Brett Kavanaugh during his contentious Senate confirmation process as “nasty.”
Trump has previously employed that same descriptor to criticize other female political rivals and perceived enemies, including former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, the late former first lady Barbara Bush, Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen.
“She was nasty to a level that was just a horrible thing,” Trump told reporters of Harris, adding that he thought she “was the meanest, most horrible, most disrespectful of anybody in the U.S. Senate.”
Supporters of Harris, a former San Francisco district attorney and California attorney general, have highlighted her prosecutorial interrogations of various Trump administration officials in congressional hearings as an advantage in her vice presidential candidacy.
Trump went on to characterize Harris as being known as “just about the most liberal person in the U.S. Senate,” and said: “I would’ve thought that Biden would’ve tried to stay away from that a little bit.”
Of course, Harris was not the most left-leaning contender under consideration to become Biden’s running mate, and her Senate colleagues include such prominent progressives as Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders — a self-professed democratic socialist.
Later Tuesday evening, in an interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity, Trump again insisted Harris was the “most liberal person, supposedly, in the Senate,” and argued that she “fled” the Democratic primary contest when she withdrew from the race last December.
Despite the president’s purported eagerness Wednesday to confront Harris in the general election campaign, some GOP officials and many advisers in Trump’s orbit have acknowledged she is likely to further boost Biden’s already front-running candidacy.
The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee is ahead of the Republican incumbent nationally as well as across key battlegrounds, according to virtually all public polling — although Trump claimed in another tweet Wednesday morning that he was “leading in most swing states!”