Conservatives react to Harris as Biden running mate, blast NY Times for 'pragmatic moderate' descriptor

'A pragmatic moderate? Let the public relations campaign by the NYT begin!'

Conservatives reacted strongly Tuesday to presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden's selection of Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., to be his running mate, with many of them hitting out at The New York Times for describing Harris as a "pragmatic moderate."

"Breaking News: Sen. Kamala Harris of California is Joe Biden’s pick for vice president. A pragmatic moderate, she is the first Black woman on a major party ticket," the Times tweeted in alerting Biden's choice.


"I’m sorry.. what is she moderate on? She supported Medicare for All, the Green New Deal, late term abortion, repealing tax cuts.. there’s nothing moderate about her," National Republican Senatorial Committee senior advisor Matt Whitlock reacted.

"Reminder that during the Democratic primaries, this "pragmatic moderate" endorsed: 1) Decriminalizing illegal border crossings 2) Taxpayer-funded healthcare for illegal immigrants 3) Taxpayer-funded abortion 4) Medicare for All," GOP pollster Logan Dobson chimed in.


"A pragmatic moderate? Let the public relations campaign by the NYT begin!" conservative radio host Jason Rantz exclaimed.

"Moderate? GovTrack scores her as the fourth most Liberal member of the Senate behind [Kirsten] Gillibrand, Bernie [Sanders], and [Jeff] Merkley." Daily Caller opinion contributor Eddie Zipperer pointed out.

"Pragmatic moderate seems like pretty fair description these days for Medicare for All supporting Kamala Harris..." Washington Free Beacon executive editor Brent Scher tweeted.

"When the NYT calls Kamala a 'pragmatic moderate,' do they mean she's 'moderate' because she can't make up her mind on 'medicare for all,' and she's 'pragmatic' because she makes up her mind based on political expediency?" queried Washington Examiner columnist Tim Carney rhetorically.

Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., one of Harris' own colleagues, slammed the Times as well.

"Pragmatic moderate? Kamala Harris supports Medicare for All and she laughed at the idea that the Constitution would prevent her from confiscating guns. More fake news from the New York Times," Cotton wrote.

Other conservative commentators joined in the crticism, providing a possible hint at how President Trump and his re-election campaign will combat the Democratic rivals.

"Harris a fake, empty-suit. She accused Biden of being a segregationalist, but then agrees to run with him," former Bush White House press secretary and Fox News contributor Ari Fleischer reacted. "Either she faked her allegation against Biden, or she's faking now. She faked her position in favor of Medicare for all, until it became unpopular. Then she opposed it."

Flesicher added, "Biden-Harris is a weakness that will acquiesce to the far-left of the [Democrat] party. There is nothing moderate about either."

"Ben Shapiro Show" host Ben Shapiro tweeted that the former vice president's choice of Harris was a "large-scale mistake" and described her as "a far-left radical with a shocking inability to connect on a personal level; she's rehearsed and mechanical. Her record is wide open to serious attack. She adds nothing to the Biden ticket other than checking some boxes for the Twitter blue checks.

"The Trump campaign should be pretty happy with the Harris pick," he added. "It opens up a bevy of avenues for attack."

Town Hall political editor and Fox News Radio host Guy Benson described Harris as "the most obvious choice" for Biden before panning her performance during the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh as "demagogic, cynical & abysmal."

Harris is the first Black woman on a major political party’s presidential ticket. The Biden campaign said Biden and Harris will deliver remarks together on Wednesday in Wilmington, Del.

"I’ve decided that Kamala Harris is the best person to help me take this fight to Donald Trump and Mike Pence and then to lead this nation starting in January 2021," Biden said in an email to supporters.


Biden also tweeted: "I have the great honor to announce that I’ve picked @KamalaHarris — a fearless fighter for the little guy, and one of the country’s finest public servants — as my running mate."

He added: "Back when Kamala was Attorney General, she worked closely with [Biden's son] Beau. I watched as they took on the big banks, lifted up working people, and protected women and kids from abuse. I was proud then, and I'm proud now to have her as my partner in this campaign."

Fox News' Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.