CBS This Morning’s co-hosts on Wednesday scored an exclusive interview with the Vice President and, after using the first half to repeatedly lobby for executive action on gun control, co-host Gayle King gushed, “Are you enjoying the job?” But first, she sympathetically wondered about what “some” are calling a crisis on the border.
Though it’s good that the CBS journalists at least asked about the border, King’s question was full of qualifiers about how, "rightly or wrongly," her “team is under fire.”
Let's look at what's happening at the border. Rightly or wrongly, people are coming in record numbers because they believe the Biden administration has encouraged, certainly, children to come. What are you going to do about that? It's chaotic, some are calling it crisis. And you all, your team is under fire, because both Republicans and Democrats said, look, if you’re going to change the Trump policy, the previous policy, at least have a game plan. There doesn't appear, right now, to be a game plan.
She at least followed up by wondering, “Will you and the President be going to the border any time soon?” But King, a Democratic donor, soon let her off the hook, offering this softball: “Are you enjoying the job?”
The first part of the 13 minute interview was entirely devoted to lobbying for executive action on gun control. Click here to read my write-up of that.
[Special thanks to MRC news analysis intern Donovan Newkirk for the transcript.]
A partial transcript is below. Click “expand” to read more:
CBS This Morning
07:41:32 AM Eastern
KING: Vice President Kamala Harris is still with us as our exclusive interview with her continues. Madam Vice President, these are such difficult times. We were all still reeling from the shootings in Atlanta. The flags have been lowered half mast, and back up and now they’re lowered again for what’s happened in Colorado. But, many are very frustrated about the shooting in Atlanta because it has not been called a hate crime. Should it be?
HARRIS: Listen, I mean, Gayle, look, you've got six Asian-American women in Asian-American businesses, and, you know, just when you look at it, you have to ask this question, which is, what is going on? And the seriousness of AAPI hate crime, especially over the course of the last year, is profound. People are being assaulted, people are being—you know— cursed out, people are being treated – people are being denied service because they are Asian American. And look, I think we have to be clear that we have a history in America that we need to deal with, a history that included the Chinese Exclusion Act as a law, that we interned Japanese Americans who also fought for the liberties of Americans in war. And we have this rise in hate crimes. When I was attorney general of California, I published a hate crime report every year. It's not new, but it has grown, and it must be confronted and dealt with.
KING: What do we do?
07:43:52 AM Eastern
KING: Isn’t it part of holding people accountable, though, at least calling it a hate crime? I think in Atlanta it’s been now a week. They still aren’t calling it what it is. You know, it’s like if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, smells like a duck, it’s a duck. There’s been such reluctance to call it that.
HARRIS: Well, I’m not prosecuting that case, so—
KING: I know.
MASON: Madam Vice President, the White House has been criticized by members of its own party for not having enough Asian Americans in the high levels of the government. Senator Tammy Duckworth, in particular, very critical of the absence there. What's being done to change that? Are there enough?
KING: Let's look at what's happening at the border. Rightly or wrongly, people are coming in record numbers because they believe the Biden administration has encouraged, certainly, children to come. What are you going to do about that? It's chaotic, some are calling it crisis. And you all, your team is under fire because both Republicans and Democrats said, look, if you’re going to change the Trump policy, the previous policy, at least have a game plan. There doesn't appear, right now, to be a game plan.
07:47:38 AM Eastern
KING: Will you and the President be going to the border any time soon?
MASON: Understood, but there are five hundred children a day, and we don’t have enough housing already, who are crossing into the border. What do we do in the meantime to stop it?
07:48:07 AM Eastern
KING: Are you enjoying the job? We’ve got to go. Yes, or no?
HARRIS: I am enjoying this job. Thank you. I feel very – I feel a great sense of responsibility to make sure we address the needs of the people.
KING: Everybody's watching. Thank you very much, Vice President Harris.
HARRIS: Thank you. Good to be with you both, thanks.