Kamala Harris backs one-time rival Biden’s White House bid

‘I really believe in him and I have known him for a long time,’ says senator for California

Former vice-president Joe Biden has now secured the backing of Senator Kamala Harris. File photograph: Reuters

Former vice-president Joe Biden has now secured the backing of Senator Kamala Harris. File photograph: Reuters

 

US senator Kamala Harris, a former 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, on Sunday said she would endorse her erstwhile rival Joe Biden’s run for the White House.

“I have decided that I am, with great enthusiasm, going to endorse Joe Biden for president of the United States,” she said. “I really believe in him and I have known him for a long time.”

Mr Biden has been eager to capitalise on a string of wins in South Carolina and a set of states that voted last Tuesday, where was helped by the endorsements of former rivals Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar.

On Saturday in St Louis, Missouri, Mr Biden thanked them and Harris supporters, fuelling speculation that the former Democratic presidential candidate may be about to endorse him.

“We’re going to unite this party and unite this country,” said Mr Biden.

The former vice-president has to win a primary against Bernie Sanders in order to be the Democratic nominee to face Donald Trump in the November presidential election. Democrats in Michigan, Missouri, and four other places hold nominating contests on Tuesday.

Ms Harris said she would campaign with Mr Biden in Detroit, Michigan, on Monday.

She is a first-term senator for California, the state’s former attorney general and would have been the first woman and second black US president. Ms Harris was considered a top-tier contender when she launched her quest for the presidency with a rally in Oakland that drew 20,000 people. She also drew attention for a clash with Mr Biden in an early presidential debate, but her campaign ultimately struggled to build on early support and raise money.