Kamala Harris responds to Nikki Haley claiming US has ‘never’ been racist country

Kamala Harris has rejected Nikki Haley’s claim on Fox News that the United States has “never” been a racist country.

The vice president criticised the Republican 2024 hopeful a day after Ms Haley rejected the suggestion she finished third in the Iowa caucuses behind two white men because of the colour of her skin.

Ms Haley, Donald Trump’s former ambassador to the UN, made her comments during a Tuesday appearance on Fox News in response to comments by MSNBC host Joy Reid.

“We’re not a racist country… We’ve never been a racist country,” she said. “Our goal is to make sure that today is better than yesterday. Are we perfect? No. But our goal is to always make sure we try and be more perfect every day that we can.”

She continued: “I know I faced racism when I was growing up. But I can tell you, today is a lot better than it was then. Our goal is to lift up everybody, not go and divide people on race or gender or party or anything else. We’ve had enough of that in America.”

Ms Harris slammed that position when she was asked about it during a Wednesday appearance on The View.

“The issue of race in America is not something that should be the subject of a soundbite. The history of racism in America is not something that should be the subject of a soundbite or a question that is meant to illicit a one-sentence answer,” the Democrat from California said.

“But there is no denying that we have, in our history as a nation, racism, and that racism has played a role in the history of our nation.

“When I think about it I think we would all agree that while it is part of our past and we see vestiges of it today, we should also be committed collectively to not let it define the future of our country. But we cannot get to a position of progress on the issue of race by denying the existence of racism, by denying the history of racism.”

Ms Haley was previously criticised for failing to say that slavery was a cause of the Civil War during a town hall last month.

Without naming Ms Haley, Ms Harris slammed anyone who thought that the 19th-century conflict had been “prompted by anything other than slavery in America.”

She also railed against those states that are banning books and said it was “unfortunate” that some people “denied facts” when “moving towards progress requires that we speak truth.”