President Joe Biden is frustrated with Vice President Kamala Harris’s performance as his second in command, believing she has failed to “rise to the occasion” and take issues off his plate, according to a report published Thursday.
Former Biden White House employees, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, claimed that even though the duo aims to run together in 2024, Biden is less than pleased at Harris’s alleged reluctance to take on risky assignments, according to Reuters.
“A point of tension in their relationship is that I don’t think that the president sees her as somebody who takes anything off of his plate [due to] a fear of messing up,” one former White House official said.
Another said that although she has failed to rise to the occasion of being the vice president, Biden still believes in her ability to do the job. The former employee also claimed that the president fears no 2024 Democratic hopeful, even Harris, would be able to take on former President Donald Trump if he secures the Republican nomination for president next year.
“If he did not think she was capable, he would not have picked her. But it is a question of consistently rising to the occasion,” the former official said. “I think his running for reelection is less about her and more about him, but I do think that she and the Democratic bench (are) a factor.”
The criticism of Harris, who currently has a 39% approval rating, according to an average of polls by aggregator RealClearPolitics, comes despite Biden’s recent public praise of Harris. He notably thanked her in November for leading the administration on the debate surrounding abortion access during the midterm elections. He also praised her for her work on Obamacare during the 13th anniversary of the law on Thursday. But Harris has been slammed for her lack of leadership on the Mexican border.
Harris, who is the first female and black vice president, is expected to leave for a trip to Africa later this week, which could potentially help boost her foreign policy credentials.