Harris introduced as vice presidential nominee

U.S. Elections

WASHINGTON (AP) — Some of the most influential women in Kamala Harris’ life are introducing her as the Democratic vice presidential nominee.

They are Harris’ younger sister, Maya Harris; her niece, Meena Harris; and her step-daughter, Ella Emhoff. Maya Harris has long been one of Harris’ closest political advisers.

Emhoff is the daughter of Harris’ husband, Doug Emhoff, and affectionately calls Harris “Momala.”

At Wednesday’s Democratic National Convention, Meena Harris called her aunt a role model who taught her she could do anything she wanted, and a role model to so many women and girls of color around the world. Maya Harris says she’ll have Harris’ back the way Harris had hers as children growing up.

Kamala Harris has been formally nominated as Democrats’ pick for vice president, becoming the first Black woman to do so for a major political party.

The 55-year-old California senator ran unsuccessfully in the Democratic presidential primary, dropping out months before the first votes were cast.

Joe Biden emerged on top of the once-crowded primary field, clinching the nomination and tapping Harris as his running mate last week.

By joining the party’s ticket, Harris also becomes just the third woman and first Asian-American to seek the vice presidency. She is a daughter of Jamaican and Indian immigrants.

A former state attorney general, Harris became close to Biden’s son Beau while he was attorney general of Delaware. Beau Biden died of brain cancer in 2015, and Harris was elected to the Senate the following year.

Former presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren says Joe Biden can hold his own on having a plan for nearly every policy challenge, large and small.

The Massachusetts senator said Wednesday night in her Democratic National Convention speech: “I love a good plan, and Joe Biden has some really good plans — plans to bring back union jobs in manufacturing and create new union jobs in clean energy.”

Warren spoke from an early education center in Springfield, Massachusetts, and said Biden will guarantee affordable, quality child care for all families.

She says the pandemic has laid bare another central theme of her presidential campaign, that the nation’s economic system “has been rigged to give bailouts to billionaires and kick dirt in the face of everyone else.”

She says, “Joe’s plan to ‘build back better’ includes making the wealthy pay their fair share, holding corporations accountable, repairing racial inequities and fighting corruption in Washington.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is accusing President Donald Trump of “disrespect for facts, for working families and for women in particular,” disrespect she says she’s “seen firsthand.”

Pelosi spoke Wednesday night during the Democratic National Convention with the Golden Gate Bridge as a backdrop. She said Trump’s disrespect is “written into his policies toward our health and our rights, not just his conduct.”

She contrasted Joe Biden as having a “heart full of love for America” against Trump’s “heartless disregard for America’s goodness.”

Pelosi also listed a litany of bills House Democrats have passed, including LGBTQ protections, gun violence measures and a coronavirus relief bill and charged that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Trump are “standing in the way” of those reforms.

She closed by predicting this fall that Democrats will increase their majority in the House and win back control of the Senate.

Hillary Clinton is reminding people of her 2016 loss despite winning 3 million more votes than Donald Trump as she urges Democrats not to sit the election out so he can’t “sneak or steal his way to victory.”

Addressing the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday from her home in Chappaquiddick, New York, Clinton says she hoped Trump would put his ego aside and be the president America needs, but that hasn’t happened.

Recalling a moment when Trump asked Black voters in 2016 what they had to lose by supporting him, Clinton said: “Now we know.”

Clinton says she knows about “the slings and arrows” that vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris will face as a Black woman on the ticket.

“Believe me: This former district attorney and attorney general can handle them all,” she added.

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Former Arizona Rep. Gabby Giffords is calling on Americans to speak out to combat gun violence, “even when you have to fight to find the words.”

Struggling to speak herself, Giffords recounted her difficulty recovering from the 2011 shooting that nearly took her life.

Giffords said during brief remarks at the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday night: “Confronted by paralysis and aphasia, I responded with grit and determination.”

The former congresswoman added: “Today I struggle to speak. But I have not lost my voice.”

Since the shooting, Giffords has become a leading gun control advocate and frequently speaks out on the issue. She told viewers that Joe Biden was there for her after the shooting and that they must participate in the November election to be “on the right side of history.”

“We can let the shooting continue, or we can act,” she said, adding: “We can vote.”

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Kamala Harris kicked off the third night of the virtual Democratic National Convention by saying viewers may have heard “about obstacles and misinformation, and folks making it harder for you to cast your ballot.”

“I think we need to ask ourselves why don’t they want us to vote,” Harris said Wednesday. “When we vote, things get better. When we vote, we address the need for all people to be treated with dignity and respect in our country.”

She did not say what those possible obstacles were, but Democrats have accused President Donald Trump of deliberately trying to disrupt operations at the Postal Service in a year when more people are expected to vote by mail because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Harris urged viewers to send a text message to the Biden campaign to receive information on how to vote and deadlines for obtaining mail-in ballots, which vary by state.

Later Wednesday, she is expected to accept the Democratic vice presidential nomination.

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President Donald Trump is pushing back against a reproach from former President Barack Obama, who is set to speak at the Democratic National Convention.

Trump said in a Wednesday evening news conference that the reason he is now in the White House is because Obama and Joe Biden, his opponent this November, did not do a good job.

Trump said, “They did such a bad job that I stand before you as president.”

He said if they had done a good job, he wouldn’t have even run for president in 2016. He says, “I would have been very happy. I enjoyed my previous life very much.”

Excerpts of Obama’s remarks released ahead of Wednesday’s convention show he will portray his successor as having unleashed America’s “worst impulses” and treated the presidency as a reality show “to get the attention he craves.”

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Kamala Harris plans to use her history-making speech at the virtual Democratic National Convention to say she will help Joe Biden promote “a vision of our nation as a beloved community – where all are welcome, no matter what we look like, where we come from, or who we love.”

The California senator will become the first Black woman to accept a spot on a major party’s presidential ticket when she formally becomes Biden’s running mate with her address later Wednesday. Her party hopes the moment can galvanize Democratic voters heading into the fall campaign against President Donald Trump.

She will call on the country to elect a “president who will bring all of us together — Black, white, Latino, Asian, Indigenous — to achieve the future we collectively want,” according to excerpts released beforehand. “We must elect Joe Biden.”

Harris also plans to criticize Trump, saying, “Right now, we have a president who turns our tragedies into political weapons.”

”Joe will be a president who turns our challenges into purpose,” Harris will say.

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Former President Barack Obama is set to implore voters to back his former vice president for the nation’s top job, arguing that “our democracy” is on the line.

Obama will address the virtual Democratic National Convention on Wednesday night from the Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia. Excerpts of his speech were released in advance.

Obama says President Donald Trump has “shown no interest in putting in the work” or “treating the presidency as anything but one more reality show that he can use to get the attention he craves.”

Convention organizers have titled the third night of their event “United America,” saying speakers will reflect Democrats’ argument that Joe Biden and his running mate, California Sen. Kamala Harris, can unify the country after a divisive four years under Trump.

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Hillary Clinton is using her return to the Democratic National Convention to issue a stark warning about the 2020 election.

According to excerpts released Wednesday, Clinton plans to reflect in her speech on her 2016 election loss to President Donald Trump and urge Americans not to take the election’s outcome for granted.

She will say, “For four years, people have said to me, ‘I didn’t realize how dangerous he was.’ ‘I wish I could go back and do it over.’ Or worst, ‘I should have voted.’ Well, this can’t be another woulda coulda shoulda election.”

Four years after she made history as the first woman nominated for president by a major party, Clinton will nod to another enduring legacy: the millions of women inspired by her 2016 bid who marched, ran for office and have become a powerful force in taking on Trump.

Her presence Wednesday night comes as California Sen. Kamala Harris becomes the first Black woman to accept a spot on a major presidential ticket and one day after the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage.

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President Donald Trump and the Republican Party are finalizing their plans for next week’s convention.

Trump and the GOP are closely watching this week’s Democratic National Convention to figure out what works and what doesn’t work.

The GOP plans a mix of live speeches, videos and virtual content.

While Democrats’ mix of live and taped video roll call votes to officially nominate Biden drew widespread praise, Republicans will have conducted the formal vote in a small in-person session in Charlotte on Monday morning.

Still, the party plans to highlight each of its convention delegations in some format.

Trump plans to deliver his nomination acceptance speech from the South Lawn of the White House.

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Former President Barack Obama will deliver his live address to the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday from the Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia.

Obama is among the headliners on the convention’s third night and is expected to speak ahead of Kamala Harris, Joe Biden’s running mate. Harris and Obama are both barrier-breaking figures, he as the nation’s first Black president and Harris as the first Black woman on a major party ticket.

Obama is expected to make the case that the cornerstone of American democracy is at stake in the election as he implores voters to back Biden and Harris.

Obama is also expected to make a personal appeal on behalf of his former vice president. The two men forged a close personal relationship during their eight years together in the White House.

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Democratic Party officials are characterizing as an “oversight” the appearance of uniformed military officers in a roll call as part of this year’s national convention.

In a video segment shown during Tuesday night’s virtual convention, people from U.S. states and territories participated in a roll call of the delegates allocated to the presidential candidates, culminating in the nomination of Vice President Joe Biden.

During American Samoa’s segment, two uniformed Army soldiers were seen on either side of the territory’s delegates. Personnel serving in the U.S. military are allowed to support candidates and attend political events but are not supposed to do so while in uniform.

Asked about the video during a call with reporters on Wednesday, Democratic Party spokeswoman Xochitl Hinojosa said “the production of that was just an oversight.”

Hinojosa also said each state and territory chose how to set up its segment to reflect its area, “and that is one that the American Samoa delegation wanted to highlight.”

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The White House says Melania Trump will address the Republican National Convention next week.

Spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham says Melania Trump will speak live Tuesday night from the Rose Garden, which has been undergoing a weekslong renovation at the first lady’s direction.

Mrs. Trump sought to introduce herself to voters with a speech at the Republicans’ 2016 national convention. But the address was later found to have included lines similar to what Michelle Obama said in her speech at the 2008 Democratic national convention.

A speechwriter for the Trump Organization – President Donald Trump’s company – ended up taking the blame.

President Trump is set to formally accept his party’s nomination for reelection in a speech from the White House lawn a week from Thursday.

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Kamala Harris’ husband is taking a leave of absence from his entertainment law firm as the California senator officially becomes Democrats’ nominee for vice president.

DLA Piper says on its website Wednesday that Douglas Emhoff “is currently on a leave of absence from the firm,” but specified no date when his leave began. A spokeswoman for Harris did not immediately return a message seeking comment.

According to the firm, Emhoff has practiced for more than 25 years “aggressively litigating high-stakes cases in the public glare or acting as a trusted advisor behind the scenes” and representing “large domestic and international corporations and some of today’s highest profile individuals and influencers.” He is licensed to practice in California and Washington, D.C.

During Harris’ presidential primary bid, Emhoff was the unofficial leader of a band of Harris supporters known as the #Khive. The couple married in 2014, and Emhoff’s two adult children call Harris “Momala,” a play on her name and the Yiddish word for “little mother.”

Harris will formally accept her nomination as former Vice President Joe Biden’s running mate during Democrats’ virtual convention on Wednesday, the first Black woman to join a major party ticket.

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Jill Biden is pushing back against President Donald Trump’s claims her husband, Joe Biden, lacks the stamina to serve as president and is calling a Trump campaign ad questioning his mental fitness “ridiculous.”

Speaking on NBC’s “Today” show on Wednesday, Jill Biden defended the Democratic presidential nominee against Trump’s allegations. She says Joe Biden is “on the phone every single minute of the day” talking to governors.

Jill Biden says her husband spends time on Zoom chats and doing fundraisers and briefings and “he doesn’t stop from 9 in the morning till 11 at night.”

Jill Biden taught at a northern Virginia community college while her husband served as Barack Obama’s vice president. She also said Wednesday she intends to return to teaching in 2021 should he win the White House.

She told CBS she’ll definitely continue teaching, saying, “Yes, yes. I’m a teacher — that’s who I am.”

Democrats formally nominated Joe Biden as their presidential candidate on Tuesday night. His vice presidential pick, Kamala Harris, speaks at their virtual convention on Wednesday night.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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