Democratic vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris faced renewed scrutiny for her lack of press availability on Monday after she abruptly exited the stage after a speech in North Carolina in which she criticized President Trump’s bid to fill a Supreme Court seat before the election.
Harris did not take any questions from the media after her speech at Shaw University, one of North Carolina’s historically black colleges and universities. The event was closed to the general public and attended only by news reporters, according to the Fayetteville Observer.
Aside from her role as Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s running mate, Harris is a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee and will have a chance to directly question Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett, Trump’s pick to fill the high court vacancy, in any confirmation hearing that takes place prior to Nov. 3.
In her speech, which was criticized by the research wing of the Republican National Committee, Harris ripped the GOP for moving forward with the nomination so close to an election.
“We will not give up, and we will not give in,” Harris said. “We will not let the infection that President Trump has injected into the presidency and into Congress, that has paralyzed our politics and pitted Americans against each other, spread to the United States Supreme Court.”
Harris has faced criticism for not taking questions from the press in recent days. Reporters from multiple outlets have questioned why Harris hasn’t made herself available to the media, and Trump and members of his campaign staff have frequently complained that both Biden and Harris are being given a free pass when it comes to questions from the press.
Fox News reported last week that Biden hasn’t participated in a formal press conference or gaggle since she was announced as Biden’s running mate in August.
Trump nominated Barrett on Saturday for the Supreme Court seat held by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg until her death earlier this month.
In her speech, Harris warned that Barrett’s confirmation to the Supreme Court would endanger the Obama-era Affordable Care Act, as well as reproductive rights legislation. The Supreme Court will hear arguments on the ACA just days after the election.
“Judge Barrett has a long record of opposing abortion and reproductive rights,” Harris said. “There is no other issue that so disrespects and dishonors the work of Justice Ginsburg’s life than undoing the seminal decision in the court’s history that made it clear a woman has a right to make decisions about her own body.”