As rumors swirl regarding President Joe Biden’s plans for 2024, reports have suggested a sort of rivalry between Vice President Kamala Harris and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, both of whom are seen by many as potential successors to Biden.
The narrative of a CNN report last week, for instance, implied that those loyal to Harris felt the vice president was not receiving the same backup from the White House that Buttigieg was getting when attacked by conservatives.
But speaking Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Buttigieg denied that a rivalry was emerging between him and Harris.
“It seems as if there’s this narrative of a rivalry developing between the two of you,” host Chuck Todd said, asking if Buttigieg’s relationship with Harris had been affected at all.
WATCH: Sec. Buttigieg says his relationship with VP Kamala Harris isn’t affected by reports of rivalry: “She and I are part of a team that is disciplined.”@SecretaryPete: “There’s no room to get caught up in the parlor games and I’m proud to be part of the Biden-Harris team.” pic.twitter.com/I8iyyclXCt
— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) November 21, 2021
“No, because she and I are part of a team that is disciplined and doesn’t focus on what’s obsessing the commentators.” Buttigieg replied.
“We’re too busy with a job to do — she as a leader in this administration, with her leadership role, and I, and the president, and everybody else in the Cabinet and across the administration, are laser-focused on getting the job done,” he continued.
Buttigieg went on to decry what he called “parlor games.”
“There’s no room to get caught up in the parlor games, and I’m proud to be part of the Biden-Harris team,” he said.
According to one conservative commentator, a 2024 Democratic presidential primary pitting Buttigieg against Harris would be a win for the GOP.
“Anyone who thought the Harris of the Democratic primaries was not a true reflection of her skills as a politician has been proved sadly mistaken by her performance as VP — she’s basically picked up where her desultory campaign left off,” National Review editor Rich Lowry wrote for Politico.
He didn’t have much kinder words for Buttigieg
“It’s become increasingly clear, though, that the Democratic Party’s new base among college-educated voters is a trap if it is pursued to the exclusion of an appeal to working-class voters,” Lowry wrote. “The party’s poor standing with non-college educated voters has begun to show up in eroding support among Latinos, a constituency that not too long ago was presumed to be a key pillar of the Obama-crafted ‘coalition of the ascendant.’
“There is still no sign that Buttigieg could appeal to these kinds of voters if his political life depended on it. Indeed, it did in the 2020 primaries, and he came up empty.”