Biden allies reportedly pan Harris' 1st foreign trip as a 'disaster'

Kamala Harris
(Image credit: ALFREDO ESTRELLA/AE/AFP via Getty Images)

Some allies of President Biden don't sound thrilled about how Vice President Kamala Harris' first foreign trip went.

The vice president's trip to Guatemala and Mexico is being viewed by allies of the president, as well as some people close to Harris herself, as a "disaster," The Hill reported.

The allies, in particular, reportedly felt that Harris seemed unprepared for questions about why she hasn't been to the southern border in an interview with NBC News' Lester Holt.

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.


Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up

"It wasn't great," a Biden ally told The Hill. "A little cringeworthy too. I don't know how they weren't preparing for these questions."

Another ally said "it was terrible," while Democratic strategist Christy Setzer told The Hill that her comments were "clumsy," and The Hill wrote that they "left almost everyone shaking their heads inside and outside the White House." When Holt noted in the NBC interview that "you haven't been to the border," Harris shot back, "And I haven't been to Europe. I don't understand the point that you're making."

"The White House's lead spokesperson on immigration should be able to talk about the root causes of migration and what's happening at the border without getting defensive or handing the opposition an infinitely replayable soundbite," Setzer told The Hill.

The Biden allies also pointed to comments Harris made at a press conference telling migrants "do not come" to the border, and they overall felt that statements made by the vice president gave critics "an easy talking point," The Hill wrote.

Politico also reported that while Harris' aides and allies "tell us she did what she was supposed to do" during the trip, "on the politics," they do "admit her performance could have been smoother." One White House official argued to Politico, though, "The trip was a success. Was there one moment in one interview that is taken out of context and being used? Yes, but she did what she came to do."

Continue reading for free

We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.

Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.

Brendan Morrow

Brendan is a staff writer at The Week. A graduate of Hofstra University with a degree in journalism, he also writes about horror films for Bloody Disgusting and has previously contributed to The Cheat Sheet, Heavy, WhatCulture, and more. He lives in New York City surrounded by Star Wars posters.