Sen. Kamala Harris is aware of her critics as her 2020 presidential campaign moves forward, but she doesn’t think she has anything to apologize for.
Wednesday, while appearing on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show‘s with Trevor Noah, the Democratic presidential candidate said she will never regret prosecuting rapists and molesters. The strong assertion came in response to Noah asking about the outrage sparked by Harris’ criminal justice record, which many have characterized as anti-Black.
Noah noted the criticisms Harris has come under regarding programs that left some feeling targeted, like minority and poor communities. “For instance, truancy programs where mothers were threatened with prison because their children weren’t going to school, weren’t where they were supposed to be,” he said.
But when Harris was asked to identify the biggest thing that changed the way she saw criminal reform, she doubled down in defense of her record.
“Well, first let me say this. I will— I will never regret having prosecuted people who molested children, people who raped women, people who murdered other individuals. Those are serious crimes for which I believe there should be serious punishment,” she said. “And I am never going to apologize for that and I think most people would agree that when one human being harms another human being, especially those who are weak and vulnerable, that there should be serious and severe consequence and accountability.”
But then she adds, “We also know and I was born knowing that this system of criminal justice in this country needs reform.”
While Harris may have delivered a clean soundbite response to the inquiry, some viewers complained that she really didn’t address the question about her record and how it’s adversely impacted people of color who can’t be dismissed as “rapists, murderers or child molesters.”
For presidential candidate Kamala Harris to yap tonight on The Daily Show about her supposed commitment to justice after she spent years protecting corrupt Orange County CA law enforcement is sickening. @ocweekly
— R. Scott Moxley (@RScottMoxley) February 21, 2019
I know the Daily Show isn't exactly a hard-hitting journalism program, but c'mon @Trevornoah, don't let Kamala Harris sidestep the biggest ? most Dems have about her – the one about her past criminal justice policies that targeted minorities.
— Shawn Foss (@Shawn_Foss) February 21, 2019