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Molly Butler / Media Matters

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Fox News ramps up attacks on Vice President Kamala Harris

Some of the attacks focus on her race and gender

Fox News figures have recently compared Vice President Kamala Harris to teenage children, said that her words do not sound like those of a commander-in-chief, and dismissed Harris as a “a DEI hire.” The network has ramped up its attacks on Harris — including with commentary focused on her race and gender — since President Joe Biden's debate performance on June 27.

    • Fox anchor Julie Banderas claimed that her young daughters “speak more eloquently” than Harris and said, “I’m sorry, just being a minority does not make you fit for president.” Outnumbered co-host and former Trump White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany claimed that Harris’ speech “does not quite ring like commander-in-chief.” Outnumbered co-host Emily Compagno added, apparently addressing the press, “So the question of how did we get here — well, it's because all of you. And the fact that now the understudy is Kamala Harris, who they point out was not qualified to be a vice president, that President Biden selected her simply because of her color and her gender, that's the mess that they created.” [Fox News, Outnumbered, 7/2/24]

    • Fox host Lawrence Jones on Harris’ BET Awards cameo: “I get code-switching, but you can't just change all the way up like that.” Jones continued, “I don't know what the White House wants to gain by going on BET, as if that is going to get us to the polls for Joe Biden.” [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 7/1/24

    • The Five co-host Jeanine Pirro: Harris “has proven to America why DEI doesn’t work.” Co-host Greg Gutfeld added: “She’s being overlooked because she didn’t earn it. She was the least popular candidate in the primaries of 2020 — and there were a lot of people involved. So there's a sense that, as what happens with DEI, unfortunately, even if you are qualified, people are skeptical of how you got there.” [Fox News, The Five, 7/2/24]

    • Fox host Brian Kilmeade: “The Democrats made their bed when they picked Kamala Harris. Have to have a woman, has to be a woman of color.” Guest Horace Cooper replied, “If the test for president is, can you cackle? Is the test, can you laugh in the middle of your statement? Can you not be ever serious? She passes with flying colors. Her own party knows that she's incompetent.” [Fox News, The Ingraham Angle, 7/2/24]

    • Fox contributor Kellyanne Conway: “Joe Biden was out in front saying — he sounded like a sophomore frat boy at the end of a keg party on a Saturday night: ‘I need a woman, I need a woman, I need a woman,’ and we got stuck with Kamala Harris.” Conway continued, “So, and he said, ‘I want to choose a Black woman.’ That’s fine, except he said the quiet part out loud, he told us how he got her. And as you’re saying, she just hasn't performed capably in the job.” [Fox News, Hannity, 7/2/24

    • In reference to Harris possibly replacing Joe Biden, Gutfeld argued that “it's very easy to make, say, a DEI hire, but almost impossible to do a DEI fire.” [Fox News, Gutfeld!, 7/2/24]