Harris Raises Cash While Biden Talks About Running Mate Search

Tyler Pager and Bill Allison

(Bloomberg) -- Kamala Harris joined Joe Biden for a virtual fundraiser on Wednesday as speculation swirled about who he will choose for his running mate. The event was only hours after Bernie Sanders withdrew from the presidential race, effectively triggering the start of the general election against President Donald Trump.

Harris, who dropped out of the race in December, briefly introduced Biden at the event, saying his leadership was needed to oversee the response to the coronavirus pandemic.

“Joe Biden has a way of working on these issues, not only to improve the lives of all Americans, but to improve their ability to believe that everything is going to be okay,” Harris said.

Sanders departure from the race marked the beginning of the fall campaign. The Democratic National Committee is teaming up with Harris, who is launching a joint fundraising committee to benefit her Senate campaign and the party.

The move by Harris, who will headline her first solo virtual fundraiser with the DNC on Thursday, could signal her desire to be on the ticket with Biden, who has said he’d choose a woman as his running mate, and is under pressure from some Democrats to choose a woman of color.

Biden thanked Harris at the fundraiser for her support and loyalty, mentioning the two were introduced by his late son, Beau.

“I’m so lucky to have you as part of this partnership going forward because I think working together we can make a great of difference and the biggest thing we can do is making Donald Trump a one-term president,” he said to her. “So, I’m coming for you, kid.”

Biden said earlier Wednesday that he might make his vice-presidential pick before the Democratic National Convention in mid-August.

The Democrats have a significant disadvantage when it comes to fundraising. At the end of February, Biden and the DNC combined for $26.2 million cash on hand, a small fraction of the $225 million that Trump, the RNC and their joint fundraising committees had amassed.

Under the joint fundraising arrangement announced by Harris and the DNC on Wednesday, the first $2,800 that the Kamala Democratic Unity Fund raises from each donor will go to her Senate campaign, with the balance going to the DNC. The money will be used to help Biden and other candidates up and down the ballot.

Biden has yet to launch his own joint fundraising vehicle. “We will have conversations with the campaign and figure out the best path forward that puts our nominee in the best position possible to beat Donald Trump,” the DNC said in a statement.

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