Sen. Kamala Harris

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., speaks during the Democratic primary debate hosted by NBC News at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, Thursday, June 27, 2019, in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

 

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) just wasn’t her usual calm, cool and collected self during Friday’s appearance on “The View.”

“I’m going to try to make this as quick and dirty as possible. You’re for decriminalizing border crossings, you’re one of the people that raised your hand at the debate. Do you agree with AOC that we should get rid of DHS altogether?,” co-host Megan McCain asked.

Harris responded:

That is not correct. I am not in favor of decriminalizing um, or not having um consequences for, we have to keep, let me just be very clear. We have to have a secure border but I am in favor of saying we are not going to treat people who are undocumented and cross the border as criminals, that is correct.

What we cannot do is have any more policy like we have under this current president that is about inhumane conduct, that is about putting babies in cages, that is about separating children from their parents and we have got to have policy that is about passing comprehensive immigration reform with a pathway toward citizenship.

I would not make it a crime punishable by jail. It should be a civil enforcement issue but not a criminal enforcement issue.

Even though she managed to contradict herself before clarifying her answer, the words themselves were not the problem.  The trouble was in Harris’ delivery of the answer. Gone was the typical self-assured demeanor that we expect from her, similar to the manner in which she questioned then-Judge Brett Kavanaugh at the senate confirmation hearings last fall.

The exchange with McCain can be seen at 0:50 in the video below.

Harris was one of eight senators who raised their hands at the last Democratic debate indicating her support for decriminalizing illegal border crossers.

Obama’s former Department of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson. opposes this position. He told the Washington Post, “That is tantamount to declaring publicly that we have open  borders. That is unworkable, unwise and does not have the support of a majority of American people or the Congress, and if we had such a policy, instead of 100,000 apprehensions a month, it will be multiples of that.”

Let’s hope Kamala has a few moments like this in the next debate.