Vice President Kamala Harris Addresses Debate Debacle at Brentwood Fundraiser

President Joe Biden’s shaky debate performance unnerved Democrats across the nation, but on June 29, Vice President Kamala Harris expressed full confidence in his leadership at a campaign fundraiser in Brentwood.

The event was hosted at filmmaker Rob Reiner’s home and billed as a pride-themed garden party celebrating the anniversary of the end of Prop 8, which had previously banned same-sex marriage. But for all the rainbow colors and A-lister fanfare, an uneasy undertone cut through the festivities.

Harris addressed the “elephant in the room” at the beginning of her 22-minute speech, acknowledging that “Our president said it wasn’t his finest hour, we all know it wasn’t.”

However, she said that “style points” aside, the debate showcased the clear contrast in candidates, and she called former President Donald Trump “a threat to our democracy.”

While Harris was full of confidence at the event, not all Democrats felt the same way following Biden’s halting, mumbled and at times, hard to understand, remarks.

Several Democratic politicians, such as Texas Rep. Lloyd Doggett and former Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan, have called for Biden to step down from the race, as have the editorial boards of The New York Times, the Chicago Tribune and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Both Harris and Governor Gavin Newsom have been floated as potential replacements for the president. Biden campaign officials, however, said there is no plan to change the ticket.

Reiner, the host of the fundraiser, said in a statement on X that the debate was “a disaster” for Biden, but that the choice for president remains “crystal clear.”

“We either can choose a good decent man who cares about his fellow citizens and knows how to govern, or a convicted felon who will destroy our democracy,” he stated.

Harris employed a similar logic during her speech, saying the debate did not alter the high stakes of the election.

“You have someone in the former President of the United States who openly talks about his admiration for dictators, someone who has said openly how he will weaponize the Department of Justice against his political enemies,” she said. “None of that has changed, because of one day in June.”

She said that Trump poses a threat to LGBTQ rights, reproductive rights and voting rights. She also touted the Biden administration’s achievements such as lowering the cost of prescription drugs and forgiving millions of dollars’ worth of student debt.

The invitation-only fundraiser gathered around 100 attendees including U.S. Senator Laphonza Butler and California Rep. Brad Sherman.

Also present were Kristin Perry and Sandra Stier, plaintiffs in the case that overturned Prop 8. Harris married the couple back in 2013 while serving as California Attorney General. Harris’s remarks were followed by a special performance by Broadway star Idina Menzel.

Biden and Trump paid visits to Los Angeles for campaign events in June. Trump attended a fundraiser at the home of Lee Samson in Beverly Hills, while Biden joined forces with Barack Obama, George Clooney and Julia Roberts for a Downtown L.A. fundraiser.

Recent polling shows Trump holding a narrow lead over Biden nationally and in all five key swing states.

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