In this Sept. 12, 2019, file photo, Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden, left, and then-candidate Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif. shake hands after a Democratic presidential primary debate hosted by ABC at Texas Southern University in Houston.
Former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris speak after one of the Democratic debates last year.

Washington – Sen. Richard Blumenthal, who served as Connecticut’s attorney general for 20 years, on Wednesday rejected the Republican Attorneys General Association’s condemnation of Sen. Kamala Harris as “the nation’s most liberal attorney general.”

Blumenthal, whose voting record ranks him among the most liberal members of the U.S. Senate, said many Democratic attorneys general are as progressive as Harris and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.

“The use of that term shows they just don’t understand the job,” said Blumenthal, who — like Harris — was an activist attorney general. “(Harris) did a lot of good work. She was aggressive and responsive in fighting crime and protecting lives.”

Since former Vice President Joe Biden announced Tuesday he’d chosen Harris as his running mate, the California senator — who served as her state’s attorney general from 2011 to 2017  — has come under fire from the GOP. But the Republican message is contradictory. The GOP has condemned Harris for both being too liberal and for being a sellout to Silicon Valley and Wall Street — something that should enrage Democratic progressives.

Besides tagging her as the country’s most liberal attorney general, Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry, chairman of the Republican Attorneys General Association, said Harris is “an original lawless liberal.”

“The radical takeover of the Democratic Party continues,” Landry said in a statement. “Harris’ radical-job killing policies, like the Green New Deal, have caused Californians to flee in record numbers. Americans will reject the Biden-Harris ticket because they want jobs, not mobs.”

Blumenthal, who was Connecticut’s attorney general from 1991 t0 2011, said “whatever they call her is a badge of honor.” He said Harris’ former work as her state’s top law enforcement officer included both protecting consumers – which some consider a liberal undertaking — as well as fighting crime. “It shows she did her job and they are not,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Republican National Committee on Tuesday night issued a statement citing supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and others who have attacked Harris as insufficiently progressive.

“Liberals revolt against Biden, Harris ticket,” the RNC news release said.

Connecticut’s Democratic leaders, including Blumenthal, have embraced Biden’ selection.

“I think she’s the best choice,” said Blumenthal, who serves with Harris on the Senate Judiciary Committee. “She’s really the person for the moment.”

Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-3rd  District, called Harris “a proven advocate for working families,” and Rep. Jim Himes, D-4th District, the member of Congress from Connecticut to endorse Biden, tweeted he was “thrilled to have Harris on our team.”

Biden and Harris made their first joint appearance Wednesday as the Democratic team seeking to oust President Donald Trump.

Trump, meanwhile, dismissed Harris as a former  candidate for the Democratic nomination who “finished weak, ultimately fleeing the race with almost zero support.”

“That’s the kind of opponent everyone dreams of!,” Trump tweeted.

Ana has written about politics and policy in Washington, D.C.. for Gannett, Thompson Reuters and UPI. She was a special correspondent for the Miami Herald, and a regular contributor to The New York TImes, Advertising Age and several other publications. She has also worked in broadcast journalism, for CNN and several local NPR stations. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland School of Journalism.

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