Biden on debate clash with Harris “I don’t hold grudges”

Fox News reports Joe Biden says he doesn’t “hold grudges” against Sen. Kamala Harris of California for her takedown of the former vice president at the first Democratic presidential primary debate 14 months ago.

And in an interview with reporters that aired Thursday morning during the virtual convention of the National Association of Black Journalists and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee said that Harris is “very much in contention” as Biden decides whom he’ll choose as his running mate.

Speculation that Harris might be Biden’s choice increased last week – after notes that Biden held in his hand during the news conference had Harris’ name scribbled across the top, as seen in a photo from the AP. The senator’s name was followed by five talking points: “Do not hold grudges.” “Campaigned with me & Jill.” “Talented.” “Great help to campaign.” “Great respect for her.”

The talking points in those notes were nothing new – Biden’s said similar things about Harris the past couple of months.

But the appearance of the notes came soon after a report from Politico that former Sen. Chris Dodd of Connecticut – a longtime Biden friend who’s co-chair of the campaign’s vice presidential vetting committee – still had concerns about Harris due to her takedown of Biden in the Democratic presidential primary debate in June of last year. The report suggested that Dodd was worried that the senator hadn’t expressed regret for the incident, which briefly boosted her campaign as she put Biden on the ropes during the prime-time showdown.

The comments that Dodd reportedly made have been criticized by some Democrats, including those who say Harris is unfairly being held to a standard that doesn’t apply to male contenders seeking the White House.

Asked in the interview that aired Thursday about Dodd’s comments, Biden remarked, “He didn’t say that to the press, he was talking to somebody offline, and it was repeated.”

And pointing to Harris, the former vice president emphasized that, “I don’t hold grudges. I’ve made it really clear that I don’t hold grudges. I think it was a debate, it was as simple as that. And she’s very much in contention.”