President Biden used a Jewish New Year event Friday to bolster Vice President Kamala Harris’ credentials, hinting she might make history by occupying the White House at some point in the future.
“Kamala won’t be the last woman to be vice president — or president,” Mr. Biden told guests in the White House East Room.
Mr. Biden vouched for Ms. Harris as questions swirl about whether Mr. Biden plans to run again in 2024, given his iffy approval numbers and advanced age of 79.
At the same time, the president used the celebration to underscore the premise of his 2020 bid, pointing to antisemitic slogans from the right-wing protesters who descended on Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017.
They were “carrying torches, Nazi flags and chanting the same exact antisemitic bile that was chanted in the streets of Berlin and Germany in the early ‘30s,” Mr. Biden told Jewish supporters. “Hate can have no safe harbor. It’s never defeated, it only hides. It hides under rocks, and when we breathe a little oxygen under those rocks, it comes out.”
The president also hit former President Donald Trump for saying there were fine people “on both sides” in Charlottesville — a comment that Mr. Trump said referred to people specifically protesting the removal of a Robert E. Lee statue, and not neo-Nazis.
Second gentleman Doug Emhoff, he first Jewish spouse of a president or vice president, set the table for the president by pointing to Mr. Biden’s condemnation of the Charlottesville protests and hatred at large.
“On this issue, we have a president and vice president who know that all Americans must be able to worship without fear or violence,” Mr. Emhoff said.
Mr. Emhoff said Mr. Biden believes in inclusion not just for his community but for “all communities.”