KCBS Radio Political Reporter Doug Sovern spoke with an expert who said the attention the president is lavishing on the rival running mate is almost unprecedented.
Presidents typically ignore the rival party’s vice presidential nominee, but not President Trump, who’s torn into Harris and called her “nasty,” a “failure” and that it would be an insult to the country if she became president.
Joel Goldstein is a law professor emeritus at Saint Louis University and vice presidential historian, and he said that Trump's aggressive rhetoric is a tactic with very little potential payoff.
“You rarely have a presidential candidate, and particularly a president, attacking the opposing vice presidential candidate,” he said. “So it’s really a rather unusual approach.”
On KCBS Radio’s “The State of California,” Goldstein said that modern vice presidents have been almost assistant presidents and Harris would likely be the same for Joe Biden.
“Vice President Biden has said that just as he was the last person in the room, the last person with a chance to make an argument to President Obama, that Senator Harris would play that role,” he said.
But very few voters think of that when casting their presidential ballot, and Trump’s argument that Harris would pull Biden to the left and pull the real strings of a radical, socialist presidency has no basis in history.
“Vice presidents have been influential, and I think that the vice presidents—beginning with Walter Mondale—have been important advisers,” he said. “But ultimately the president makes the decision, a vice president can’t overshadow the President.”