Harris fires back at McCarthy over criticism of Biden’s negotiating

Vice President Harris took aim at former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) Wednesday over his criticism of President Biden’s negotiating skills earlier that day.

“With all due respect, when anyone who has had the experience McCarthy just had, I don’t think he’s a judge of negotiations,” Harris told New York Times journalist Andrew Ross Sorkin at the DealBook Summit when asked about McCarthy’s criticism.

Harris was likely alluding to the California Republican’s ouster from the Speakership last month after eight Republicans sided with Democrats to boot McCarthy from the top post. She was responding to comments made by McCarthy earlier in the day that jabbed Biden over his negotiating skills around the debt ceiling deal reached in May to avoid a default.

McCarthy told Sorkin Wednesday that he “could not negotiate the debt ceiling with Biden,” suggesting that he worked with his staff instead of the president to work out the deal in September. He added that Biden was not “the same person he was when he was vice president.”

“I was at a difficulty because I had a five-seat majority,” McCarthy said. “I have 20 people who’ve never voted for a debt ceiling. I went in to see the president in February. I sat down with him and said, ‘Let’s do this differently. Let’s not go to the last minute to do the debt ceiling. Why don’t you and I sit and talk and let’s work this out so the country doesn’t have to do that?'”

“We kind of rammed around him, he said he was going to do it. Schumer then comes in and says, ‘Don’t do anything with Kevin, he can’t pass anything.’ And then I went for 97 days, I went to the media every day. And it wasn’t till I passed something that he could start negotiating,” McCarthy continued.

When pressed further on whether he believes Biden is “not with it,” McCarthy said that he would not want Biden to be reelected if he was a Democrat.

“I’m explicitly saying if I had a choice of who I would pick, if I was a Democrat to be my nominee, to run the greatest country in the world, I would not give him — I would not reelect him,” McCarthy said.

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