A day after the Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden selected the California senator Kamala Harris as his running mate, Donald Trump attempted to tear her down – she’s “nasty”, he said in a press conference. “She was extraordinarily nasty, she was nasty to a level that was just a horrible thing,” he said, “very, very nasty”.
The “nasty” attacks were, as Stephen Colbert pointed out on Wednesday’s Late Show, deeply unoriginal. “How lazy are you?! You’re just repeating what you said about Hillary. You’re stuck in 2016! And that’s not fair – why should you be the only one who gets to live in a time when you’re not president?”
The Trump campaign has experimented with calling her “phony Kamala” but is reportedly still “workshopping effective nicknames” to paint her as “ruthless” and “power-hungry”.
“What a wonderful use of the commander in chief’s time,” Colbert deadpanned, imagining Trump as a Mean Girls character poring over his “burn book” instead of handling the coronavirus crisis.
On a phone call with Fox News, Trump continued to drum up fear over Harris by calling her “the most dangerous choice” because “she’s the most liberal person supposedly in the Senate”.
“What is he talking about?” Colbert marveled. “Harris is an establishment Democrat and a former prosecutor. It is so clear that Trump had a different set of opponents in mind and now he’s having trouble changing strategies.”
Colbert also mocked the Trump campaign’s “clearly misogynist” attack on Harris as “power-hungry” and “overly ambitious”.
“Of course she’s ambitious! She’s running for vice-president! Who does that without ambition?” Colbert said, pointing out that that nobody just “falls into” becoming the “second most powerful person in the world”.
On the Daily Show, Trevor Noah also dismissed Trump’s attempts to discredit Kamala Harris, starting with the president’s apparent confusion that Biden would choose a running mate who memorably challenged him in the primary debates. “Of all people, Donald Trump should totally understand how you can be with a woman who’s publicly humiliated you,” said Noah over a photo of Trump’s wife Melania.
Kamala Harris is confusing the s**t out of Trump and Fox News. pic.twitter.com/YuwMQW0zAt— The Daily Show (@TheDailyShow) August 13, 2020
“He also shouldn’t be surprised that past enemies can become your friends,” Noah added, and listed off a number of Republican congressmen who have worked with Trump despite their blistering criticisms: Ted Cruz, who called him a “pathological liar and narcissist”; Lindsey Graham, who once said Trump was a “bigot and nutjob”; and Marco Rubio, who called him “a con artist”.
Jokes aside, Noah called Biden’s decision to pick Harris – the first black female or south Asian candidate on a major party ticket, a moderate Democrat who once served as attorney general in California – a “genius move”, because “not only does she tick a bunch of boxes, but clearly, conservatives are going to struggle to put her in one”.
Noah played a series of clips from Fox News in which conservative pundits struggled to demean her – she’s too telegenic, but also too ambitious, they said. The pick was surprising, then it was boring. She incarcerated too many people as California’s attorney general, but is too soft on crime.
“Poor Republicans, they’re so confused,” Noah mocked. “Honestly, it’s kind of cute watching Republicans flail around trying to figure out the right talking points. It’s like when a litter of puppies is born but they haven’t opened their eyes yet.”
And on the Tonight Show, Jimmy Fallon recapped Biden’s first appearance with his new running mate at an empty high school gym in Wilmington, Delaware. “That’s right, Biden and Harris shared a stage for the first time since the debates,” Fallon said. “You can tell Biden hasn’t forgotten, because when Harris went in for a handshake, he flinched.”
Trump, meanwhile, labeled Harris with the unoriginal “nasty”, which shouldn’t be surprising, said Fallon – “unfortunately for Harris, if you want well wishes from Trump, you’ve gotta be in prison”.
In other news, Trump called into Fox News to continue sowing undue fear about mail-in voting, claiming that “people are just going to grab batches of [mail-in ballots], you talk about China and Russia, they’ll be grabbing plenty of ’em”.
“Usually when an old man starts accusing people of stealing the mail, it’s time to put grandpa down for his nap,” Fallon joked.