Democratic Senator Kamala Harris of California has said she plans to make the “very serious” decision about whether to run against President Donald Trump in 2020 “over the holidays.”
“It’s a very serious decision,” Harris said in an interview with MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski at the Know Your Value conference in San Francisco. “Over the holiday, I will make that decision with my family.”
Harris said that she was acutely aware of just how cut-throat the presidential race could become.
“Let’s be honest. It’s going to be ugly,” Harris, a former attorney general of California, said. “When you break things, it is painful. And you get cut. And you bleed.”
Speculation has swirled around whether Harris will make a 2020 bid, with CNN ranking Harris as the most likely Democrat to get their party’s presidential nomination in its monthly power rankings list last month.
If Harris does throw her hat in the ring, she is likely to be entering a crowded race, with a slew of Democrats’ names being floated as potential presidential candidates, including Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, former Vice President Joe Biden and Beto O’Rourke of Texas, who recently lost his Senate race against Republican incumbent Ted Cruz.
After Harris, CNN’s November list of Democratic candidate power rankings sees Warren as the second candidate most likely to receive their party’s presidential nomination, with Biden following behind.
CNN’s ranking system is determined by analysts’ projections based on current polling, historic trends and “lessons that the 2018 Democratic primaries have taught us.”
Meanwhile, a November POLITICO/Morning Consult poll of Democratic voters’ preferred nominee to take on Trump in 2020 saw Harris ranked fifth, with Biden coming in first place, followed by Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, O’Rourke and Warren.
That poll was conducted between November 7th to 9th, seeing 1,952 registered voters surveyed, with a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.
In addition to announcing her plans to make a decision on whether to launch a 2020 bid over the holidays, Harris also paid tribute to former President George H.W. Bush, who died on Friday at 94 years old.
“He is a symbol and an example of the nobility of public service,” Harris said.
“I didn’t necessarily agree with every policy he promoted, but I completely respect and am in awe of the dedication he gave to his country and service,” she said, adding: “What we want most in our public officials is that we respect that when they make decisions, they do it based on what they truly believe is in the best interest of other people, not themselves.”
The Democrat also expressed frustration with the slow progress of the Secure Elections Act that she introduced in March, along with co-sponsor Republican Senator James Lankford of Oklahoma.
The bipartisan legislation has sought to give the Department of Homeland Security responsibility for ensuring the security of U.S. elections, as well as for fortifying election infrastructure to prevent cyber attacks.
The act would also establish an independent advisory panel of experts to determine a set of guidelines on election cyber security.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has yet to bring the legislation to the floor for a vote, which Harris said she had been told was at the White House’s request.