Kamala Harris endorses Joe Biden for president ahead of key contests

Endorsement follows former presidential candidates Amy Klobuchar, Pete Buttigieg and Mike Bloomberg

Joe Biden’s campaign for the White House received another significant lift on Sunday when Democratic senator Kamala Harris, until recently one of the former vice-president’s main rivals for the party’s presidential nomination, announced her endorsement.

In a short video statement released on Twitter, Harris promised she would “do everything in my power” to ensure Biden beats off a challenge from Vermont senator Bernie Sanders for the nomination and goes on to be elected president in November.

“I am with great enthusiasm going to endorse Joe Biden for president of the United States,” the California senator said. “I believe in Joe. I really believe in him and I have known him for a long time.

.@JoeBiden has served our country with dignity and we need him now more than ever. I will do everything in my power to help elect him the next President of the United States. pic.twitter.com/DbB2fGWpaa

— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) March 8, 2020

“One of the things we need most now is a leader who really does care about the people and who can therefore unify the people.”

Biden, she said, was a public servant who had “always worked for the best of who we are as a nation, and we need that right now.”

Harris’s support means that Biden, whose faltering campaign for the nomination was restored by a remarkable Super Tuesday turnaround, goes into Tuesday’s primary contests in a number of crucial midwest and western states, including Michigan and Missouri, with the backing of almost all of the key figures previously running against him.

Pete Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, and Minnesota senator Amy Klobuchar dropped out last weekend and threw Biden their endorsements just before 14 states went to the polls on Super Tuesday.

Billionaire businessman Michael Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York, suffered a disappointing Super Tuesday and withdrew on Wednesday after spending $500m on his campaign. He immediately offered his backing and resources to the Biden operation.

Meanwhile Elizabeth Warren, the liberal Massachusetts senator who dropped out on Thursday, has yet to announce an endorsement, with Sanders hoping she will swing her supporters to him.

The Vermont senator, 78, also picked up one notable endorsement on Sunday, that of Jesse Jackson, the veteran civil rights leader who won the Michigan caucuses in his unsuccessful 1988 run at the Democratic presidential nomination.

“A people far behind cannot catch up choosing the most moderate path,” Jackson said in a statement. “The most progressive social and economic path gives us the best chance to catch up and Bernie Sanders represents the most progressive path.”

Harris, once seen as a likely frontrunner, ended her own campaign in December after struggling for months to overcome low opinion poll numbers. In a tweeted announcement to supporters she said running for president had been the “honor of my life” and promised to “keep up the fight”.

Harris has previously been severely critical of Biden, notably during a contentious debate in July last year when she attacked his record on race relations. Biden, she claimed, worked with segregationist leaders in southern states during the civil rights era and opposed “busing” of school children to achieve racial integration, claims Biden strenuously denied.

Biden, after his extraordinary Super Tuesday turnaround, holds a narrow advantage over Sanders in the chase for Democratic delegates who will decide the nomination at the party’s convention in Milwaukee in July.

The former Delaware senator and Barack Obama’s vice-president for eight years, has so far secured 664 of the 1,991 state delegates he needs, with Sanders – who raced out to an early lead after victories in Nevada and New Hampshire, has 573.

On Tuesday a further 352 delegates are at stake in primary votes in Idaho, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota and Washington.

• This article was amended on 10 March 2020. The claim made by Kamala Harris which Joe Biden strenuously denied was not that he had “supported ‘busing’ of school children”, as an earlier version had said, but that he had opposed it. This has been corrected.


Richard Luscombe

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Biden campaign raises $26m in 24 hours after announcing Kamala Harris pick
Boost in donations, seen as a sign of momentum brought on by Harris, comes after Biden lagged behind Trump in July fundraising

Lauren Aratani

13, Aug, 2020 @7:12 PM

Article image
In choosing Kamala Harris, Biden may have found the anti-Trump
Biden’s VP pick ‘makes America look more like America’ – and now Harris is better placed than anyone to be the first female president

David Smith in Washington

11, Aug, 2020 @11:29 PM

Article image
No country for old white men: Kamala Harris heralds changing of the guard
The Democratic debates’ standouts have been Booker, Buttigieg, Castro, Harris and Warren – none a straight male Caucasian – while Joe Biden looked like this year’s Jeb Bush

David Smith in Miami

28, Jun, 2019 @5:19 AM

Article image
Joe Biden picks Kamala Harris as his running mate in historic first for a woman of color
Decision follows a months-long search for candidate who could lift ticket in unpredictable election year

Lauren Gambino and Joan E Greve in Washington

11, Aug, 2020 @10:18 PM

Article image
Joe Biden and Kamala Harris call for nationwide mask mandate – as it happened
Biden tells Americans to ‘do the right thing’ and says ‘every governor should mandate mandatory mask wearing’ – follow the latest news live

Maanvi Singh (now), Lauren Aratani and Martin Belam (earlier)

14, Aug, 2020 @12:10 AM

Article image
Kamala Harris officially enters 2020 US presidential race
Democratic senator portrays herself as a fighter for justice and equality as she enters crowded field of candidates vying to take on Trump

Lauren Gambino in Washington

21, Jan, 2019 @3:23 PM

Article image
Bernie Sanders endorses Joe Biden for president
Sanders says ‘We’ve got to make Trump a one-term president’ in move that all but confirms Biden as Democratic challenger to Trump

Lauren Gambino in Washington

13, Apr, 2020 @6:35 PM

Article image
Biden clashes with Warren and Sanders in lively Democratic debate
Healthcare opened up clear differences between frontrunners but Donald Trump was the key target amid a more conciliatory tone

Lauren Gambino in Houston

13, Sep, 2019 @4:07 AM

Article image
'Good day for our country': Democrats hail Kamala Harris as VP pick
Party leaders and progressive groups appear largely united behind Joe Biden’s choice of running mate

Daniel Strauss

12, Aug, 2020 @6:15 AM

Article image
Kamala Harris assails Donald Trump's 'reckless disregard' for American people
Democratic VP pick says Trump has failed to keep Americans safe, with Republican convention largely ignoring coronavirus pandemic

Lauren Gambino in Washington

27, Aug, 2020 @8:48 PM