By Bob Gatty.
Democratic Presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris wowed supporters Friday, March 8 in Myrtle Beach, blasting President Trump for his failures and declaring, “We are better than this. We will fight for who we are.”
What originally was planned as a “meet & greet” for Democratic leaders turned into a boisterous, enthusiastic rally, with the crowd spilling into the parking lot and street outside of Big Mike’s restaurant, where the event was held.
Introducing Harris, HCDP chair Don Kohn said 2020 will be “the most consequential election of our lifetime.” He urged everyone to register to vote, register others, and vote. “We must work for our candidates and do it together,” he said.
Speaking on International Women’s Day, Harris told the crowd that she and her sister were raised by a mother who was only five feet tall, but “you would have thought she was seven feet tall.” And when they complained, her mother would say, “So what are you going to do about it.”
“Well Horry County, I’m running for President of the United States,” she declared to cheers and applause.
“What we need to do is restore opportunities for all in our country,” she said, adding that she has proposed providing a tax credit of up to $500 monthly for families that earn $100,000 per year or less. That, she said, would “lift up one in two families in America and… two of every three children in America.”
Sen. Harris said the Trump presidency has been filled with broken promises. “He gave us a tax bill with a $1 trillion deficit that benefits the top one percent and the big corporations,” she said, after promising during his campaign to close the federal deficit.
“And he wants us to foot the bill for his multi-billion dollar vanity project called ‘the wall’,” she said.
In answer to questions, Harris said:
- The 47-month sentence handed down to Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort yesterday demonstrates that the criminal justice system is broken, noting that a “young man in Mississippi who had weed in his car got a sentence of 12 years.” She said “people who commit white collar crimes should bring their toothbrush and be prepared to spend as much time in jail as anybody else. Everyone needs to be treated equally.”
- The Trump administration’s anti-environmental policies are dangerous. “Climate change is happening and it is a fact that human behavior is contributing to it.”
- Federal policy should support increased affordable housing and said she has proposed tax credits to help.
- Offshore drilling “is all about our reliance on fossil fuel. We are damaging the earth. We need new leadership.”
Sen. Harris said her candidacy was about far more than simply criticizing the Trump administration. “It’s about having a vision where we can be unburdened by where we have been. Let’s understand what’s happening right now and know that when we show up, it can change.”
“We love our country and are prepared to fight for it,” declared Harris. “This is not only about defeating this guy who is in the White House, but fighting for a vision of America where everyone can see themselves.”
A small band of Trump supporters wearing MAGA hats arrived across the street from Big Mike’s and waited for the senator to arrive. While they attracted some media attention, they largely dispersed before Harris emerged from inside to greet the outside crowd.
“We need a new president,” she said.