Democratic Vice-Presidential Nominee Kamala Harris visited Flint Tuesday on the campaign trail. She talked with TV5’s David Custer as he Asked the Tough Questions.
David Custer: "Small businesses are hurting in Michigan, many of them were closed for several weeks or three months. So, how do you keep people safe but also keep our businesses open?"
Kamala Harris: "Well, first of all we have to get control of the pandemic and do it in a way that is about being smart. One of the initiatives that Joe and I have is about assisting small business by what they need to do to reopen to rehire."
Fresh off her afternoon touring Flint businesses affected by the pandemic, Harris, met with Custer inside a small barbershop on Detroit’s east side to talk about what she can do for Mid-Michigan and why residents should take advantage of mail-in and early voting.
Custer: Can Michiganders trust this process?
Harris: “Absolutely Michiganders can trust this process. You know listen, here's the thing, there is so much at stake in this election, and the thing that Joe and I want to make sure everyone knows, that their voice is their vote. Their vote is their voice, we urge people to vote early."
President Donald Trump has threatened to withhold money from Michigan alleging attempted voter fraud over mail-in ballots. But just this week he changed course, encouraging Michigan voters to vote early.
Custer: “We have some of the most diverse communities in Mid-Michigan, and in 2016 for the first time, Saginaw County voters, chose the Republican Candidate Donald Trump, this is the first time in three decades. So, how do you plan to win those voters back?”
Harris: “Joe and I plan on earning the vote of everyone, and it's going to by pointing out on this issue of COVID-19 and this pandemic. There have been thousands of Michiganders that have died from it, over 100,000 that have contracted this virus. Joe and I will grab this bull by the horns and have a national testing strategy."
But extensive plans to battle COVID-19 come with a hefty price tag.
Custer: “America's debt is in the trillions right now and the pandemic is only making the debt worse. How will you get control without cutting programs like Medicare and Social Security?”
Harris: “Well on day one we need to get rid of, and we will, that tax cut that Donald Trump passed for the richest one percent of our country and the biggest corporations in our country which has contributed at least one trillion dollars to the deficit.”
Custer: “We dealt two catastrophic disasters within Mid-Michigan in the last five years. We had the Flint Water Crisis and then we had the dam failures this year. So how do you fix the infrastructure issues that are plaguing so many American cities like ours and impacting these lives?”
Harris: “Joe and I have a plan for $2 trillion that will be invested in America’s infrastructure. So, when we look at places like Flint. We and we look at Detroit and we look at the rest of the country and also making sure that 40 percent of that money is directed to the hardest hit and the most in need communities and Flint of course is on that list."
And on the top of Senator Harris’s list, to stop the hatred and violence sweeping across the country.
Custer: “Between race concerns and political issues, it does not feel that we are the United States of America right. If elected how will you unite the country?”
Harris: “By bringing everyone together. It's such a shame what has happened over these last almost four years, we've had a president in Donald that has tried to sow hate and division and turning Americans against each other, it's awful."
When asked whether Trump should nominate a successor to Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, she said it should be left up to the voters and whomever they choose to be president.