'Outnumbered' panel blasts the vice president for adding crisis communications directors to her staff rather than making efforts to address crises.
Vice President Kamala Harris has found herself in hot water over various gaffes, missteps and debacles on a regular basis during her chaotic first year on the job.
She’s regularly mocked, often criticized and has become known for laughing when confronted with tough questions. Along with her political struggles managing the southern border crisis and grappling with reports of dysfunction in her office, Harris has had a rough go of it in 2021.
Here are some of Harris’ most memorable media moments since taking office in January:
Space video produced by Sinking Ship Entertainment, feature child actors
The internet recently erupted over the report that child actors appeared in the first video of a YouTube series with Harris called "Get Curious with Vice President Harris."
U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris meets with civil society change makers who work on LGBT, transgender, and disability rights and climate change, at the U.S. Chief of Mission's residence in Hanoi, Vietnam, Thursday, Aug. 26, 2021. (Evelyn Hockstein/Pool Photo via AP)
The much-criticized video showed Harris talking to a group of children about her love of science, excitement over being able to see moon craters through a telescope and the importance of having big dreams. It was produced by Toronto-based Sinking Ship Entertainment, and the fact that a Canadian company was used for the video didn't escape critics' attention.
She was widely mocked for her mannerisms throughout the video, which showed her acting overly animated as she talked with the children. Following the release of the video, it was revealed that the children auditioned for the series when one child actor told a local news affiliate he submitted a monologue and was interviewed for his role.
Harris applauds student, who accused Israel of 'ethnic genocide,' for speaking 'your truth'
Harris had a viral exchange with a student about the Israel-Palestinian conflict in September when she did not interject when the student accused Israel of "ethnic genocide." Instead, the vice president nodded and thanked the student for speaking up.
"Your truth cannot be suppressed," Harris said.
The comment forced Harris’ office into damage-control mode, as staffers scrambled to reassure pro-Israel Democrats of her commitment to the country.
Crisis along the southern border
President Biden appointed Harris as his point person when it comes to the crisis on the southern border in March. In the months since, her critics have wondered what the vice president is doing to stem the influx of migrants that has overwhelmed Customs and Border Patrol agents.
Harris has told migrants rather pointedly, "do not come," but they’re not listening. She was also knocked for not taking a trip to the U.S.-Mexico border for nearly 100 days after her appointment as border czar.
She finally traveled to to El Paso, Texas, in June for her first visit as vice president to the U.S.-Mexico border following mounting criticism from Republicans and the mainstream media alike. However, some observers felt she simply conceded to pressure and others called it a political photo-op hundreds of miles from the crisis' epicenter.
The decision to physically stay away from the crisis for three months resulted in probing questions from reporters, disapproval from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, and an onslaught of social media hot takes.
‘The View’ COVID testing debacle
This one wasn’t Harris’ fault, but it has to be included since she was at the center of one of the most bizarre media moments in recent memory. Harris was set to appear on "The View" when co-hosts Sunny Hostin and Ana Navarro were forced to leave mid-show after receiving what turned out to be false positive coronavirus tests.
The program quickly went off the rails as the two remaining co-hosts, Joy Behar and Sara Haines, were left confused by the sudden exit of Hostin and Navarro and had to delay the interview with Harris, which ultimately took place via video feed from backstage. What was expected to be a lengthy interview lasted less than 10 minutes in what became a rapid-fire Q&A session.
Campaigning for Newsom while Californians were stranded in Afghanistan
The Republican National Committee put a spotlight on the situation in a series of ads.
"Californians are stranded in Afghanistan. Where’s Kamala?" one mobile billboard said. "Campaigning in California."
Another ad torched Harris for campaigning for Newsom amid the crisis, saying that while she does so "California children are stranded behind enemy lines in Afghanistan" and encouraging people to sign a petition to tell Harris "to do her job."
Los Angeles Times loses faith in Harris
The liberal Los Angeles Times declared Harris had been ineffective in her role in June, only five months after fawning over her so extensively that the paper’s coverage was labeled "inappropriate and disappointing."
The Times was ridiculed on social media in January when it announced "Covering Kamala Harris," a project described as "a beat dedicated to her historic rise to the White House" that was loaded with complimentary content.
The Times later dialed back the praise, even abandoning an Instagram account dedicated to Harris. By August, Harris’ hometown paper knocked her for her role in the botched execution of the U.S. military withdrawal from Afghanistan. The Times noted that following Biden's decision in April to withdraw U.S. troops, Harris boasted during an interview on CNN "that she was the last one in the room before Biden made his decision, and felt comfortable with the plan."
The Times published a story headlined, "Kamala Harris has touted her role on Afghanistan policy. Now, she owns it too."
Harris: Democrats who fled Texas 'in line' with legacy of Frederick Douglass, Selma marchers, suffragettes
Harris declared in July that Democratic lawmakers who fled Texas in an effort to block the state’s new election legislation from passing are "in line" with the legacy of civil rights and voting rights leaders and activists. She even said the Texas House Democratic Caucus were on par with Frederick Douglass.
"They took bold, courageous action in line with the legacy of Frederick Douglass, to the legacy that involves women who marched down Pennsylvania Avenue, and all those folks who shed blood on the bridge in 1965 to pass the Voting Rights Act," Harris said. "And now, we have in 2021, the Texas Legislature."
Harris slammed for claiming rural Americans can't photocopy their IDs
Harris was criticized in July for arguing against voter ID laws, claiming rural Americans can't get photocopies of their ID's.
"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."
Rural Americans took issue with the comments from the vice president, suggesting she is out of touch with the nation.
Politico reports Harris’ office is ‘rife with dissent’
In June, Politico reported communication issues and distrust between aides and senior officials on Harris’ team, including her chief of staff Tina Flournoy, have contributed to a "tense and at times dour office atmosphere."
The report, which cited interviews with 22 current and former aides, alleged people are "thrown under the bus from the very top" in the "abusive environment."
Symone Sanders, Harris’ top spokesperson, pushed back on allegations of discord on the vice president’s staff.
Disastrous Lester Holt interview
Harris didn’t do herself any favors in her now-infamous June interview with NBC's Lester Holt. The vice president shrugged off criticism about not yet visiting the border by laughing and saying "I haven't been to Europe" either.
Harris claimed "we have been to the border," seemingly referring to other administration officials, to which Holt responded that Harris, specifically, had not been to the border.
"And I haven't been to Europe. I mean, I don't understand the point you are making," she replied, laughing.
Harris was excoriated on social media following the response, with some, including Republican members of Congress, telling her it was "not a joke to laugh at," and criticizing her for making light of the situation at the border.
Kamala Harris snaps at Univision anchor while pressed on when she'll visit border: 'I'm not finished'
Harris had a tense exchange in June with Univision anchor Ilia Calderón over when she would visit the southern border.
Calderón pressed Harris on how she herself had yet to make it down to the US-Mexico border to see the migrant crisis in person.
"I've said I'm going to the border," Harris told the anchor. "And I-"
"When are you going to the border, Vice President?" Calderón asked during a remote interview.
As Harris was speaking, she heard Calderón's slightly delayed question, which appeared to not sit well.
"I'm not finished," Harris sternly replied along with a brief chuckle. "I've said I'm going to the border. And also if we are going to deal with the problems at the border, we have to deal with the problems that cause people to go to the border, to flee to the border."
The exchange went viral and only further contributed to Harris' political woes regarding the border.
Harris laughs after reporter asks if she plans to visit border: 'Not today!'
In March, Harris laughed while responding to a question from a reporter who asked if she would be visiting the border amid the growing migrant crisis.
While taking questions from reporters outside of Air Force One, Harris was asked if she had "plans to visit" the southern border as the immigration crisis continued to develop.
The vice president responded to the query with a "not today" before laughing. She continued on to say that she had visited "before" and that she probably would go back.
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Fox News’ Brooke Singman, Kelsey Koberg, Brandon Gillespie, Brie Stimson, Joseph A. Wulfsohn, Cortney O’Brien, Houston Keene, Jon Brown, Thomas Barrabi Michael Lee contributed to this report.
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