Vice President Kamala Harris sidestepped questions about whether she was ready to hop into the executive role if President Joe Biden decided not to run for reelection in 2024, stating he is “very much alive.”
“Well, first of all, I’m not gonna engage in that hypothetical, because Joe Biden is very much alive and running for reelection. So there we are,” Harris said in an interview that aired Sunday with 60 Minutes.
Biden’s age has been a source of criticism for both Republicans and Democrats, particularly after the president announced he would seek reelection. At 80, he is the oldest U.S. president in history and would be 86 at the end of his second term in 2028 if he wins reelection.
Several critics have warned that if Biden were to decline to run for president again or become incapacitated while in office, Harris would be the likely Democratic nominee or even sitting U.S. president. This has drawn ire from Republicans who have knocked her for her performance at the southern border and their belief that she is incapable of being a leader. Some Democrats have also hesitated to call her the future of the Democratic Party but believe she is doing the job “effectively.”
Harris said Sunday she doesn’t have time for “parlor games” and is focused on the job.
“I hear from a lot of different people a lot of different things. But let me just tell you, I’m focused on the job. I truly am. Our democracy is on the line, Bill. And I frankly, in my head, do not have time for parlor games, when we have a president who is running for reelection. That’s it,” Harris said.
When asked by 60 Minutes reporter Bill Whitaker why the Biden-Harris ticket is not 30 points ahead of former President Donald Trump, she said she was not a “political pundit” and could not speak to the polls. However, she reiterated her confidence that she and Biden would remain in office.
“What I will say is this: When the American people are able to take a close look at election time on their options, I think the choice is gonna be clear. Bill, we’re gonna win. Let me just tell you that. We’re gonna win. And I’m not saying it’s gonna be easy. But we will win,” Harris added.
Harris has a net approval rating of -16.8%, according to RealClearPolitics. Biden only fares slightly better at -13.7%. The outlet currently has Trump leading Biden by .07% in a hypothetical 2024 matchup.