Kamala Harris says ‘Wisconsin is part of my story’ in awkward Milwaukee event

Vice presidential hopeful Kamala Harris had an awkward moment during a campaign event in Wisconsin, describing the state as “part of her story,” while avoiding reporters.

The moment happened during an in-person campaign event Monday with black, Milwaukee-based business leaders when the state’s Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes tried to turn the microphone over to her to take questions from the press.

Harris had already given remarks on the “dignity of work,” a theme of the campaign, and Barnes figured the vice presidential hopeful would be answering questions as reporters bemoan a lack of access to Harris and her running mate, presidential nominee Joe Biden.

“We are very honored, proud and lucky to have Senator, soon-to-be Vice President, Harris with us today, and I will pass it back over to you. I know you want to take some questions before you get out of here,” Barnes said before reaching over and offering the microphone to Harris.

Before Harris could take it from Barnes, a member of Harris’ staff could be heard saying, “Oh, I think we’re all set.”

“Thank you all, we’re all set. Thank you,” another voice said as shuffling began.

Barnes then said into the microphone, “Oh, all right.”

After it became clear that Harris wouldn’t be answering questions, reporters began shouting out queries for the vice presidential hopeful.

One asked why Harris picked Wisconsin as her first state to visit in person after being selected as VP.

“I once lived in Wisconsin, did you know that? Wisconsin is part of my story,” Harris told reporters Monday, noting that her parents taught at the University of Wisconsin when she was young.

Harris has not yet participated in a press conference since she was named Biden’s running mate on Aug. 11.

During her visit to the Badger State, a must-win for the Democrats in November, Harris met with members of Jacob Blake’s family in person and spoke with Blake himself by phone.

Harris met with Jacob Blake Sr. and two of Blake’s sisters — four days after Biden met with the family as he visited riot-ravaged Kenosha, where Blake was shot by a police officer late last month.

Harris told reporters after the meeting that it was “really wonderful.”

“I mean they’re an incredible family and what they’ve endured and they do it with such dignity and grace,” she said. “And you know, they’re carrying the weight of a lot of voices on their shoulders.”

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