(ConservativeHub.com) – Vice President Kamala Harris recently offered a pointed response to former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s (R-Calif.) critique of President Joe Biden’s negotiation skills. During a session at the DealBook Summit, Harris, in conversation with New York Times journalist Andrew Ross Sorkin, took a moment to address McCarthy’s earlier comments made that day. She implied that McCarthy, given his recent experiences, might not be a “judge of negotiations.” According to The Hill, this may have been a reference to McCarthy’s ouster from his role as Speaker, a position from which he was removed after losing support from his own party members, in an event where eight Republicans sided with Democrats.
Harris’s remarks were in direct response to McCarthy’s criticism of Biden’s handling of the debt ceiling negotiations. Earlier in the day, McCarthy had expressed his view that Biden lacked the negotiation skills he once possessed, particularly in the context of the debt ceiling deal reached in May, which was crucial in preventing a national default.
Speaking with Sorkin, McCarthy elaborated on his struggles with negotiating the debt ceiling with Biden. He indicated that instead of engaging directly with the President, he found himself having to work through Biden’s staff. McCarthy also suggested that Biden had changed since his time as vice president, implying a decline in his negotiation abilities.
McCarthy recounted his attempts to initiate early discussions with Biden about the debt ceiling, in an effort to circumvent the usual last-minute rush. Despite his attempts to engage in a proactive dialogue, McCarthy suggested he felt stymied by the political machinations within the Democratic Party, particularly pointing to Senator Chuck Schumer’s advice to Biden not to engage with him.
The former Speaker also detailed the challenges he argues he faced due to the slim majority in the House and the presence of members within his party who were historically against voting for a debt ceiling increase. McCarthy described his extensive efforts to bring the issue to the forefront of media attention and political discussion. He indicated that only after he had managed to pass something in the House did Biden begin to engage in meaningful negotiations.
When further pressed about his view on Biden’s overall capability and fitness for office, McCarthy expressed a nuanced position. He refrained from making a direct comment on Biden’s mental acuity but was clear in his opinion that if he were a Democrat, he would not support Biden for a second term.
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