“They’re going to engage in an attempt to distract from the real issues that are impacting the American people. And I expect that they will engage in dirty tactics. And this is going to be a knockdown, drag-out. And we’re ready,” Harris said in an interview to the media outlet The Grio, when asked about President Trump promoting birther conspiracies questioning her eligibility to run for vice-presidency.
“I’m very clear-eyed about the fact that they are going to engage, as you said, in what they have done throughout his administration, which is, let’s just be very candid and straightforward: They’re going to engage in lies. They’re going to engage in deception,” she said, adding, “Nothing that we have ever achieved that has been about progress has come without a fight,” she later added.
Trump’s sly endorsement twice of reports questioning her eligibility was topped with vicious personal slander from his surrogates and supporters, who have unleashed, what is loosely called “oppo research,” on social media. This includes not just political failures but also personal indiscretions or contretemps far into the past.
For instance, the conservative and influential radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh dredged up Harris’ rise in California politics, attributing it to her ties to influential San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown, while using ugly slurs to characterize their relationship. Others invoked her record as a prosecutor, tracking down an innocent black man who was sent to prison for murder during her tenure.
Still others have continued to question her birthright and citizenship status –scrutiny that Harris has faced before – although it is well chronicled that she was born in Oakland, California, and raised in the US except for about five years when she went to school in Montreal, Canada, where her mother worked at McGill University.
“Look, this is the same thing they did to Barack (Obama). This is not new to us and so I think that we know what they are trying to do,” Harris had said in an earlier interview.
Biden was not spared either, with stories surfacing about how Jill Biden left her former husband following an affair with Biden nearly 45 years ago.
“Oppo research” that the Trump “war room” began unloading on social media included Kamala Harris blaming then Senator Biden’s 1994 crime bill for an increase in mass incarceration across the country, her proposal to ban fracking, which Republicans says creates jobs (even in the face of environmental impact), and most famously, her castigation of Biden during the Presidential debate for purportedly coddling and praising segregationists.
“Kamala says she would change the dietary guidelines to reduce the amount of red meat you can eat,” warns one clip, while another shows her saying, without providing any context, “What else do we know about 18 to 24 year olds? They are really stupid… they make really bad decisions.”