Pete Buttigieg on Sunday again tried to shut down rumors of a feud between himself and Kamala Harris, saying his relationship with the vice president isn’t affected by reports.
‘She and I are part of a team that is disciplined and doesn’t focus on what’s obsessing the commentators,’ the Transportation secretary told NBC’s Meet the Press host Chuck Todd. ‘We’re too busy with a job to do.’
‘There’s no room to get caught up in the parlor games and I’m proud to be part of the Biden-Harris team,’ Buttigieg added.
Rumors and gossip have swirled of tensions rising with President Joe Biden and the vice president amid reports this month of growing frustration between their teams.
The reports have also suggested a sort of rivalry developing between Harris and Buttigieg as some claim her team feels the president defends the Transportation secretary more than he does the vice president.
Since the reports emerged, Harris and Biden have exhibited their partnership.
On Monday’s signing of the bipartisan infrastructure bill they put on a show of force when walking out onto the South Lawn together and exchanging hugs.
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said Sunday that reports of a feud between himself and Kamala Harris haven’t affected his relationship with the vice president
Reports this month claim that tensions are rising between President Joe Biden and Harris – and that there is mounting frustration between the two teams in the White House. The two hug during a signing of the infrastructure bill on Monday, November 15
Meanwhile, White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain tweeted Harris is an ‘incredible leader’.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki argued Harris receives more criticism because of her status as a woman of color and the country’s first female and first black vice president.
Some rumors emerging from the reports claim that Biden, if he runs again in 2024, could replace Harris with Buttigieg.
The president has publicly said he intends to run again and there has been anonymous chatter among Democrats that if he does he should consider replacing Harris.
There’s additional speculation that if he doesn’t run again, Harris would not be the strongest contender to replace him. Some have suggested that Transportation Secretary Buttigieg, who ran for president in 2020, would be a better candidate for the nomination.
Biden did not name Harris or Buttigieg as the point person in charge of implementing his infrastructure plan, the role he played for Barack Obama in 2009 for stimulus money distribution. Instead, the president named former New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu in charge of carrying out where the money goes.
Harris did not answer when asked about plans for 2024 when asked by ABC’s George Stephanopoulos in an interview that aired on Good Morning America Thursday.
Harris began her response by listing tasks she had done Wednesday – the day the interview was taped – including beginning the day with Biden at the presidential daily briefing and attending meetings.
When Stephanopoulos asked her again about her 2024 ambitions, she said definitively it had not been discussed.
Rumors coming from the reports suggest that Biden could ditch Harris in a potential 2024 reelection run – and instead bring on Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg as his No. 2
Harris’ aides also complain that on the issues that she has been given control over – such as the border crisis and voting rights – she doesn’t have White House backing to follow through.
In contrast, they say the president has been more vigorous in defending Buttigieg.
Harris was momentarily in charge of the nation on Friday as Biden went under anesthesia for a colonoscopy and other routine check ups. Biden told reporters he felt ‘great’ after his exam concluded on Friday.
The president disembarked from Marine One and walked slowly and stiffly across the South Lawn upon his return from spending around five hours at Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.
‘They’re going to release all the details. I feel great. Nothing’s changed,’ Biden said of his first physical exam as president.
‘I’m looking forward to celebrating my 58th birthday,’ he joked. Biden turned 79 on Saturday and celebrated with a low key weekend in his hometown of Wilmington, Delaware.
Biden took power back at 11:35 a.m., after speaking with Harris and Klain. He relinquished power at 10:10 a.m., leaving Harris in charge of the country for one hour and 25 minutes.
‘.@POTUS spoke with @VP and @WHCOS at approximately 11:35am this morning. @POTUS was in good spirits and at that time resumed his duties. He will remain at Walter Reed as he completes the rest of his routine physical,’ Psaki tweeted Friday.
The White House said Harris worked out of her office in the West Wing, meaning she was not in the Oval Office as she assumes presidential power. Harris takes over amid reports she is being sidelined by the administration, which the White House has vigorously denied.
Harris, the first female and first black vice presidential, made history with her time holding presidential power.
Psaki called it ‘another chapter’ in the history that Harris’ selection as VP has made. ‘I think that will be noted for many women, young girls across the country,’ she said during her daily press briefing.