Kamala Harris photo

Harris Campaign Press Release - Kamala Harris' Commanding Debate Performance Continues to Dominate the Conversation

June 28, 2019

"Kamala Harris clearly won the debate tonight, and it wasn't close" "The Most Valuable Player trophy goes to Harris. She owned the stage."

Last night, Senator Kamala Harris outshined the field on the debate stage in Miami, delivering a standout performance and handily winning the first Democratic primary debate. Harris focused on her "3AM Agenda" and made clear she will always speak truth on the pressing issues facing Americans. Harris also demonstrated that she is the candidate who is best prepared to effectively prosecute the case against four more years of Trump.

From the Miami Herald's editorial board:

"Kamala Harris owned the stage and the night."

"She was sharp, commanding, spunky, touching…"

"Harris showed Thursday night that she is a serious candidate. The audience seemed to fall in love with her more as the night went on."

"As she rose, other candidates faded or performed as expected. Sanders was Sanders. In both debates, Harris showed she has the most developed muscle to go toe-to-toe with President Trump in televised presidential debates."

From Ana Navarro, CNN commentator:

In fact, the Most Valuable Player trophy goes to Harris. She owned the stage. She put into practice the skills she's honed as a prosecutor and as a senator. Biden was visibly shaken when she confronted him on issues of race and his past actions.

I couldn't help but imagine what it would be like to have her debate Trump.

Kamala Harris is everything Trump is not:

Smart as hell.
Not racist.
Not misogynist.
Not "pendejo".

Reviews from the Early Primary States:

  • Barbara Rodriguez, Des Moines Register - ".@KamalaHarris had a very good night, and I think Iowans will be excited to see her in the state next week. #iacaucus"
  • Zach Wahls, Iowa State Senator, Johnson County - "Harris is on fire tonight."
  • James Pindell, political reporter at the Boston Globe and longtime New Hampshire primary reporter: "A++...After two nights and four hours of debate, there was one unquestionable winner: Harris. In a flawless performance, she told the story of her campaign, showed her empathy and toughness...The perfect metaphor for her dominant performance came early on, when she rose above the fracas to say, "America does not want to witness a food fight, they want to know how we're going to put food on their table." And every person on stage, whether they were behind the podium or the moderator's table, stopped to listen to her."
  • Danta Scala, University of New Hampshire professor and New Hampshire political expert: "It was a big step forward for Harris...that was one of the best debate performances I've seen in a long time."
  • WMUR: "We asked the people coming out of the debate what they thought. they were nearly universal in saying they thought Senator Kamala Harris emerged the strongest."
  • Jon Ralston, Nevada Independent: This is amazing by Harris vs. Biden. She seized the moment and went after him. After being given 30 seconds, she went for 2 minutes. Masterful.
  • Former Governor of South Carolina, Jim Hodges said: "Particularly strong." "Particularly memorable" "Kamala Harris helped herself great deal tonight."
  • Amy Hayes, former Democratic Party Chair in SC-05: "Which candidate seems most Presidential to me? Kamala. She's got brains and toughness to spare and yet she maxes out on likability, too. Not many people can pull that off."

Here's more of what they're saying about Kamala's night:

  • Vox: Kamala Harris was the Democrat you could imagine taking on Trump
  • Washington Post: Harris upstages Biden and Sanders with dominating performance
  • Axios AM: 1 big thing: Kamala Harris' night
  • CNN: Kamala Harris shines in commanding Democratic debate performance
  • Raw Story: 'Kamala Harris had a moment that was 2 hours long': Van Jones reacts to Dem debate
  • Bloomberg: Kamala Harris Just Taught a Debate Clinic. You're Welcome.
  • El País: Kamala Harris arrolla a Joe Biden en el segundo debate demócrata
  • The Week: Kamala Harris won, Biden lost, and Marianne Williamson is groovy
  • San Francisco Chronicle: Kamala Harris takes command during heated presidential debate
  • Politico: The five long minutes when Harris owned Biden
  • Bloomberg: Kamala Harris Stakes Claim as Top 2020 Contender in Clash With Biden
  • BuzzFeed: Kamala Harris Just Showed How She'd Debate Trump
  • The Nation: Kamala Harris Won the Debate With Prosecutorial Zeal
  • The Guardian: Kamala Harris just changed the direction of the presidential race
  • Slate: Kamala Harris Dismantled Joe Biden on Live TV
  • NBC Bay Area: Kamala Harris Draws Raucous Cheers at Debate Watch Party
  • The Independent: 'We'll follow her campaign until the White House': Harris a hit among pubgoers watching 2020 Democratic debate
  • Politico: Kamala Harris breaks out
  • Charlotte Clymer: Kamala Harris clearly won the debate tonight, and it wasn't close.
  • Annie Karni, New York Times: Trump allies so far viewing Kamala Harris performance warily, see her performance as strongest on the stage.
  • Maria Cardona, Democratic strategist: Kamala Harris is giving the American people not only solid policy that reflects our values but she is giving us an image of what presidential power would look like in the hands of a woman.
  • DeRay McKesson: Kamala is one of the only people I've seen over these two nights that simply came off as presidential.
  • CNN: Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris cut through the cacophony of her rivals and insisted time and again that the candidates turn their attention to the troubles of "real Americans"
  • Amy Hayes, former local Democratic Party Chair: Which candidate seems most Presidential to me? Kamala. She's got brains and toughness to spare......and yet she maxes out on likability, too. Not many people can pull that off.
  • Ted Lieu, Congressman from California: Glad that America is seeing the Kamala Harris that I know: smart, tough, progressive and presidential. @KamalaHarris is rocking the #DemDebate.
  • Pramila Jayapal, Congresswoman from Washington: @KamalaHarris was so incredibly compelling taking on Biden on race. This must be discussed and no, it is not intellectual. It is real, personal, political and necessary to talk about race and take on racism.
  • Dave Weigel, Washington Post: One reason that Kamala exchange with Biden matters: Dem voters need to be convinced that a woman can face Trump onstage and take him apart. That moment got her a long way.
  • Adrienne Elrod, Democratic strategist: 38 minutes in @KamalaHarris is owning this debate.
  • Jonathan Capehart, Washington Post: One last thing: That Kamala Harris went after Joe Biden should dispell anyone of the fear that she'd be afraid or unable to go after Donald Trump. #recognize
  • Yamiche Alcindor, PBS: That exchange btwn Joe Biden & Kamala Harris was raw, real, deep, & so important. Kamala Harris offered her personal experience as a kid bused around to make sure integration happen.
  • Jacqueline Alemany, Washington Post: "Grab that torch: Never mind waiting for it to be passed. Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.) stole the thunder from former vice president Joe Biden in the second round of the Democratic debate on Thursday night -- delivering a dominating performance and exposing weaknesses of the current front-runner on issues of race."
  • Helaine Olen, Washington Post: If you come for the king, you best not miss. Kamala Harris rules #DemDebate2. No one else even came close
  • Jamil Smith, Rolling Stone: A very good observation by @xwaldie: considering @KamalaHarris's signature moments in the debate, perhaps her best selling point as a candidate will be that she was the best storyteller on stage, "imagining policy as embodied in actual American lives."
  • Doug Sovern, KCBS Radio: One of the most important things @KamalaHarris did tonight was ace the audition for "Democrat you'd most like to see take on Trump in a debate." She made the case to primary voters that she's a legit standard bearer, while sowing real doubt about Biden's ability to do that.
  • Neera Tanden, Center for American Progress: Somewhere, Kamala Harris' mother, Shyamala Gopalan, is smiling on what her daughter did tonight.
  • S.E. Cupp, CNN: My real time take for cnn.com: Tonight was Ka 👏🏻 Ma 👏🏻 La 👏🏻.
  • Charlamagne tha God, the Breakfast Club radio show: Stop letting the media tell you who is electable and who's not. If being "presidential" is still a thing Sen. @KamalaHarris is the one.
  • Sydney Ember, New York Times: Every time Harris speaks, I feel a hush go over the audience. Then wild cheers.
  • Elex Michaelson, Fox Los Angeles: Our focus group of undecided voters felt @KamalaHarris won the Democratic debate. No one thought @JoeBiden won. For Harris, they used words like "assertive," "prepared," and "punchy." For Biden, words like "disappointing" and "safe."
  • Joy Ann Reid, MSNBC: She positioned herself at the fulcrum between the past and the future
  • Van Jones, CNN: Something is happening in this country and Democratic Party. Proud of America tonight and proud of Kamala Harris.
  • Michael Steele, former RNC Chair: It done. @KamalaHarris owned this debate. She won. Period. No one came close. Tonight or last night.
  • Jess O'Connell, former CEO of the DNC: @KamalaHarris is captivating the room here with every answer she gives. She is in control. #Demdebate
  • Jen Psaki, former White House communications director: This is getting real. And @KamalaHarris is killing it.
  • Randi Weingarten, President of American Federation of Teachers: @KamalaHarris' personal story is moving. A good reminder that the federal government has a role in equity and addressing racism and segregation in America.
  • Jamelle Hill, The Atlantic: By the way, this is why Donald Trump don't want nan' with Kamala Harris in a debate
  • Susan Glasser, New Yorker: Seems to me that Kamala Harris came ready to win this thing
  • Mike Allen, Axios: She positioned herself as a product of history, but future-oriented and raring to change things in a way that Biden isn't.
  • Matthew Miller, MSNBC contributor: Can't remember a time a candidate grabbed a debate and just owned it the way Harris has tonight. Been waiting to see a breakout performance from her and boy has she delivered.
  • Jelani Smith, New Yorker: Kamala Harris had two things on her to-do list tonight. She crossed off the first. The second is "Take names."
  • Ezra Klein, Vox: So Harris intends to win this primary."
  • Brian Fallon, Justice Democrats: Not just the moment of the night, but potentially a watershed in the entire election cycle.
  • Michael Skolnik, entrepreneur and activist: I have been saying this since the day she entered the race. Kamala Harris is presidential.
  • Patti Solis Doyle, adviser to the 2008 Obama campaigne: She proved that she can go after a male opponent without suffering the gender stereotype of appearing overly aggressive or overly ambitious. She looked like a winner, plain & simple.
  • Frank Luntz, Republican consultant and pollster: If Kamala Harris becomes president, it will be because of this moment.
  • Zerlina Maxwell, SiriusXM: Here are my #demdebate2 rankings: 1. Kamala.
  • Maeve Reston, CNN: This debate feels easier to follow, possibly because @KamalaHarris laid down the hammer early on about not making it into a food fight like last night.
  • Topher Spiro, Center for American Progress: Kamala Harris with a strong presence in this debate.
  • Jess McIntosh, CNN commentator: I was expecting Kamala to be good I was not expecting her to be *this* good.
  • Dean Luk, former NBC producer: Eric Swalwell asked Joe Biden to pass the torch. Kamala Harris just took it.
  • David Rothkopf: Of the 20 candidates on stage tonight or last night, who is the most exciting, promising, compelling, persuasive? (My answer is @KamalaHarris and it's not close.)
  • Keith Boykin, CNN commentator: Kamala Harris did not come here to play with you tonight.
  • Brennan Gilmore, Clean Virginia: Haven't seen anyone as strong on a debate stage as @KamalaHarris in a long time. Nearly flawless performance so far.
  • Scott Bland, Politico: One striking thing about Harris' big moment tonight: how she made it happen. Harris didn't get a question. She demanded time ⁠— "As the only black person on this stage, I'd like to speak on the issue of race" ⁠— and won the space to make her splash
  • Jessica Knoll, author: I get chills listening to Kamala Harris speak. I think I have a crush.

Kamala Harris, Harris Campaign Press Release - Kamala Harris' Commanding Debate Performance Continues to Dominate the Conversation Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/365411

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