'Beau stood there': Harris recalls how Beau Biden backed her during battle with banks
Posted January 17, 2021 8:57 a.m. EST
CNN — Vice President-elect Kamala Harris in a new interview airing Sunday recalled the time Beau Biden, the late son of President-elect Joe Biden, stood by his principles in a moment of "incredible" pressure.
"His state hadn't been as hard-hit as many around the foreclosures, but Beau, on a matter of principle, said it's not right and I'm going to stand with you guys," Harris said of Biden, reflecting on the time the two served as attorneys general of California and Delaware, respectively, during the 2010 foreclosure crisis.
"It was incredible how much heat we took, and Beau stood there. Beau stood there," Harris told CNN's Abby Phillip in a special report set to air Sunday night.
Harris had grown close with Biden, working on how to take on national banks during the crisis, when there was a wave of improper foreclosures initiated by large banks and other lenders. Biden died in 2015 of brain cancer at the age of 46.
Harris wrote in her memoir, "The Truths We Hold," that Beau Biden was "an incredible friend and colleague" who had the "principle and courage" to take on banks that were largely organized in Delaware.
"There were periods, when I was taking heat, when Beau and I talked every day, sometimes multiple times a day," Harris wrote. "We had each other's backs."
California was among the hardest-hit states during the crisis, and banks filed foreclosures on more than 1 million homes. "I determined that what the banks were offering California was crumbs on the table. So I pulled California out of the negotiations," Harris told Phillips.
Harris, a Democratic senator from California, will make history on Wednesday as the first woman, the first Black person and the first person of South Asian descent to be sworn in as vice president of the United States. CNN's hour-long special report, Kamala Harris: Making History, will air on Sunday, January 17 at 10 p.m. ET.
Harris, in her interview with Phillip, also addressed her record as district attorney of San Francisco and attorney general of California, which has been the subject of scrutiny and criticism by progressives.
"There are a lot of nuances in what it means to be a prosecutor, especially in this moment, that is, I think, long overdue where America is coming to a reckoning on a lot of issues that deal with racial injustice," Harris said.
And reflecting on her failed 2020 presidential bid in the interview, the vice president-elect told Phillip that "making a decision to get out of a race is probably as difficult as making a decision to get into a race."
Harris dropped out of the race in December 2019. When she later endorsed Joe Biden for president in March 2020, she spoke about Beau Biden and how she came to know the President-elect through his son.
"He spoke with so much love about the father that raised the man who he was," Harris said of Beau in her endorsement speech. "I know Joe. And that is why I am supporting him."
Biden went on to tap Harris as his running mate in August of that year.