Biden calls VP ‘President Harris’ again
US President Joe Biden once again referred to his VP as “President Harris,” during a graduation speech at South Carolina State University honoring a leading congressional Democrat, whose endorsement helped both get the nomination.
Speaking at the historically black school in Orangeburg, South Carolina, on Friday, Biden told a joke about Delaware State University – another historically black college – and followed up with “all kidding aside, of course President [Kamala] Harris is a proud Howard alum,” a reference to yet another HBC in Washington, DC.
The White House later edited the transcript of the speech to say “[Vice] President Harris,” but videos from the event show that is not what Biden actually said.
Joe Biden refers to Kamala Harris as "President Harris" pic.twitter.com/1z6EwWIEQR— X Strategies LLC (@XStrategiesLLC) December 17, 2021
This isn’t the first time Biden has slipped up about Harris. He called her “president-elect” in December, and “President Harris” during a press conference in mid-March. By the end of that month, the White House would change all of the official headers to refer to the “Biden-Harris Administration.”
The former California senator had made a similar slip-up herself, referring to “a Harris administration, together with Joe Biden as the president of the United States,” at a campaign event in September 2020.
Biden was in Orangeburg to give a graduation speech at SCSU and hand a diploma to its prominent alum Congressman James Clyburn (D-South Carolina). Clyburn graduated from SCSU in 1961, but received his diploma in the mail, as the institution did not hold December ceremonies at the time.
It was Clyburn’s endorsement of Biden in February 2020 that helped him win the state primary and recover from early defeats to other Democrat challengers.
“My buddy Jim Clyburn, you brought me back!” Biden told Clyburn in a victory speech, before going on to sweep the Super Tuesday primaries.
Harris also has Clyburn to thank for her post. She was the first on his list of running mate endorsements published in a March 2020 Washington Post article, with Clyburn insisting it “needs to be a black woman.” Though Harris had dropped out of the race three months prior, before the first primaries were held, Biden would eventually name her his running mate.