Vice President Kamala Harris was slammed by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ rapid response director Christina Pushaw after the former senator made racially charged comments regarding the release of federal relief funds following Hurricane Ian.
Speaking at the Democratic National Committee’s Women’s Leadership Forum on Friday, Harris said that it was people of color and lower-income communities who are ‘most impacted by these extreme [weather] conditions.’
The devastation inflicted on Florida came into focus a day after Ian struck as a monstrous Category 4 hurricane, one of the strongest storms ever to hit the U.S.
It flooded homes on both the state’s coasts, cut off the only road access to a barrier island, destroyed a historic waterfront pier and knocked out electricity to 2.67 million Florida homes and businesses — nearly a quarter of utility customers.
Harris, 57, was discussing climate change with actress Priyanka Chopra in Washington, DC when she made her comments.
Vice President Kamala Harris speaks during the Democratic National Committee’s Women’s Leadership Forum in Washington, DC
Harris, 57, was discussing climate change with actress Priyanka Chopra when she made her controversial comments
Harris said of the relief: ‘We have to address this in a way that is about giving resources based on equity, understanding that we fight for equality, but we also need to fight for equity’
The vice president continued: ‘I know we are all thinking about the families in Florida and Puerto Rico with [Hurricane] Fiona and what we need to do to help them in terms of an immediate response and aid.’
She went on: ‘We have to address this in a way that is about giving resources based on equity, understanding that we fight for equality, but we also need to fight for equity.’
Harris added: ‘Understanding not everyone starts out at the same place, and if we want people to be in an equal place, sometimes we have to take into account those disparities.’
Just a few hours later, Pushaw took Harris to task over her comments. She tweeted: ‘This is false. @VP’s rhetoric is causing undue panic and must be clarified. FEMA Individual Assistance is already available to all Floridians impacted by Hurricane Ian, regardless of race or background.’
Pushaw went on to encourage her followers who need assistance in the wake of the hurricane to call 1-800-621-3362 or log on to Disasterassistance.gov.
Pushaw, who formerly worked as DeSantis’ press secretary, followed up her original message saying: ‘The @VP needs to correct what she said as well. A real journalist would simply ask her to clarify what she meant by those comments and why she misrepresented the relief effort.’
The world’s wealthiest man, Elon Musk, joined in on calling out Harris.
The world’s wealthiest man, Elon Musk weighed in on Harris’ comments
He commented on Ryan Fournier, the founder of Students for Trump’s, tweet about Harris. Musk said that relief should be dispensed ‘according to greatest need, not race or anything else.’
Fournier had tweeted: ‘You can’t make this up. Kamala Harris said the administration will be giving hurricane resources ‘based on equity’ by directing funds to ‘communities of color.’ I guess everyone else is just screwed.’
Later on her Twitter feed, Pushaw announced that Florida’s First Lady, Casey DeSantis, had awarded $1 million from Florida’s Disaster Fund to qualifying organizations, who are helping victims.
You can donate to the fund here.
Earlier this week, Harris was in South Korea visiting the DMZ border that separates the south from the north on the peninsula
Vice President Harris met South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol – the pair issued a joint statement condemning the missile launches from North Korea that took place during the visit
Already this week Harris made headlines while on a visit to South Korea for the wrong reasons when she mistakenly touted the ‘strong alliance’ that the US has with the ‘Republic of North Korea.’
North Korea fired missiles before and after Harris’ visit to the peninsula, extending a record pace in weapons testing this year as it increases the threat of a credible nuclear power that can strike the United States and its allies.
Pyongyang also conducted the first intercontinental ballistic missile test for the first time since 2017.
Nuclear tests and ballistic missile launches by North Korea have long been banned by the United Nations Security Council.
Despite these gaffes, President Joe Biden said at an event in the White House on Friday that: ‘Kamala won’t be the last woman to be vice president – or president.’
While on his popular HBO show on Friday, Bill Maher said that he could see Biden replacing Harris on the ticket.
The liberal comic and political commentator said: ‘What I could see is replacing the vice president She’s just not very popular, anywhere. And it didn’t seem to work out. I don’t know, that’s been done before on a ticket.’
Later in the show, Maher said: ‘I just think she’s a bad politician.’
He went on: ‘But I could see them doing that, because a lot of the problem with Biden being old is, oh, if he dies, then you know, you’re going to get this person.’
At the Democratic National Committee’s Women’s Leadership Forum, Priyanka Chopra joked: ‘Do you hear that sound? That is the sound of no mansplaining, ladies’
Harris also said at the Democratic National Committee’s Women’s Leadership Forum: ‘If there were ever any reason for this group to exist in recent memory, the moment is now.’
‘We have got to do everything we can in the next 39 days to remind people what is at stake in these elections,’ she said during a panel moderated by Chopra.
Chopra started the session with a jab at men patronizing women. Pointing to the silence in the room, she joked ‘Do you hear that sound? That is the sound of no mansplaining, ladies.’
Earlier this month, President Joe Biden vowed that Democrats would codify the right to an abortion into law if two more Democratic senators are elected to the U.S. Senate in the Nov. 8 mid-terms, saying it would open the possibility of removing the filibuster, a legislative roadblock which requires a 60-vote majority to overcome.
The Senate is now evenly split between Democrats and Republicans, with Harris’ tie-breaking vote as vice president giving Democrats thin control.
But two Democratic senators have opposed ending the filibuster.
Abortion has become a major issue for voters across the country after the Supreme Court’s Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision in June overturned the right to have an abortion enshrined nearly 50 years earlier in Roe v. Wade.
Nearly half of states have banned, placed limits on, or attempted to ban abortion. Some Republicans, such as Senator Lindsey Graham earlier this month, have proposed a national ban on abortions after 15 weeks, or within the second trimester of a pregnancy.