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Vice President Kamala Harris will enter 2022 with work to do to improve her standing with the public, with 2021 bringing the vice president several embarrassing gaffes and sagging approval numbers.
While President Biden’s poll numbers have fallen sharply in recent months, Harris faces an even more unfavorable picture. According to the results of a recent USAToday/Suffolk poll, 28% of voters approve of the vice present while 51% disapprove.
Harris had some embarrassing moments in 2021, but five of them stand out above the rest and likely did nothing to help her poor numbers.
5. Kamala Harris slammed for claiming rural Americans can’t photocopy their IDs
Vice President Kamala Harris talks about the effect of pollution on her sight and taste during remarks at the Prince George’s County Brandywine Maintenance Facility on Dec. 13, 2021 in Brandywine, Maryland. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Harris faced backlash in July when she claimed that voter identification laws were discriminatory toward rural Americans, who she claimed wouldn’t be able to make photocopies with a lack of big-box office chains in their area.
“I don’t think that we should underestimate what that [compromise on voter ID laws] could mean,” Harris said in an interview with BET News. “Because in some people’s mind, that means you’re going to have to Xerox or photocopy your ID to send it in to prove who you are. Well, there are a whole lot of people, especially people who live in rural communities, who don’t – there’s no Kinkos, there’s no OfficeMax near them.”
“Of course people have to prove who they are,” Harris continued, but “not in a way that makes it almost impossible for them to prove who they are.”
The vice president was widely panned for the statement, with one rural American chiming in to assure Harris that he was capable of making photocopies.
“We built this country. We can manage to photocopy our ID’s,” former CIA officer Bryan Dean Wright tweeted.
4. Kamala Harris panned for using ‘French accent’ to French scientists while touring Parisian lab
A video clip of Harris speaking to French scientists during a tour of the Institut Pasteur in France in November went viral after it appeared as if the vice president spoke in a fake French accent.
“I wonder if she practiced accents with her child actor friends,” GOP strategist Matt Whitlock joked at the time, making a nod to the science video she appeared in alongside child actors.
3. Kamala Harris applauds student who accused Israel of ‘ethnic genocide’ for speaking ‘your truth’
(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
“Just a few days ago there were funds allocated to continue backing Israel, which hurts my heart because its ethnic genocide and displacement of people, the same that happened in America, and I’m sure you’re aware of this,” the student told Harris after the vice president spoke at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia.
Harris made no effort to push back against the student’s position.
“And again, this is about the fact that your voice, your perspective, your experience, your truth, cannot be suppressed and it must be heard, right? And one of the things we’re fighting for in a democracy, right?” Harris said in response.
2. Harris falsely claims ‘we’ve been to the border’ when pressed on lack of visit
Pressed by NBC News in June to explain why the administration had yet to visit the southern border amid the crisis there, Harris, who had been appointed Biden’s “border czar,” dismissed the question while falsely claiming “we’ve been to the border.”
“I – at some point – you know – we are going to the border. We’ve been to the border,” Harris said. “So this whole – this whole – this whole thing about the border. We’ve been to the border. We’ve been to the border.”
Pressed further, Harris declared that she had not been to Europe as vice president, either.
“I – and I haven’t been to Europe. And I mean, I don’t – I don’t understand the point that you’re making,” Harris said. “I’m not discounting the importance of the border.”
1. Harris boasts of being the ‘last voice in the room’ when Biden decided to pull out of Afghanistan
President Biden with Kamala Harris (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
Touting her importance to Biden’s decision-making in April, Harris boasted that she played a key role when the president made his decision to end America’s troop prepense in Afghanistan, confirming that she was the last person in the room with Biden when he made his decision.
“This is a president who has an extraordinary amount of courage,” Harris said at the time. “I have seen him over and over again make decisions based exactly on what he believes is right.”
But playing a key role in that decision turned out to be more damaging to the vice president than anything else a few months later, with Afghanistan descending into chaos during the final days of U.S. involvement in the country. The result was a total Taliban takeover of Afghanistan and a frantic effort to evacuate American citizens and allies before troops left for good, with thousands being left behind as the final troops departed the country.