Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Kamala Harris, two Democrats from opposite coasts and different generations, made their first public appearance as running mates on the Democratic ticket on Wednesday afternoon.
“I have no doubt that I picked the right person to join me as the next vice president of the United States of America,” Mr. Biden said.
The appearance, held at Alexis I. duPont High School in Wilmington, Del., offered the first indication of how Mr. Biden and Ms. Harris, formerly political rivals who sparred on debate stages, might fuse their messages together as they campaign to unseat President Trump in the White House this fall.
The event also marks a significant first, with Ms. Harris taking to the stage as the first Black woman and the first person of Indian descent to be nominated for national office by a major political party.
As he introduced Ms. Harris as his running mate for the first time, Mr. Biden leaned heavily on the qualities that set her apart and added diversity to the Democratic ticket. He presented her as a historic candidate, and someone whose background reflected a diversifying country.
“This morning, all across the nation, little girls woke up, especially little Black and brown girls, who so often feel overlooked and undervalued in their communities,” Mr. Biden said. “But today just maybe they’re seeing themselves for the first time in a new way: as the stuff of president and vice presidents.”
Mr. Biden, who has said in the past that he wanted a vice president with whom he was “simpatico” also stressed that he and Ms. Harris shared similar values and ideals that would guide their campaign.
“One of the reasons that I chose Kamala is that we both believe that we can define America simply in one word: possibilities,” he said.
Yet he added that he expected Ms. Harris, with whom he publicly disagreed several times as he sought the nomination, to challenge him at times.
“I asked Kamala to be the last voice in the room, to always tell me the truth, which she will, to challenge my assumptions if she disagrees, to ask the hard questions,” Mr. Biden said.
President Trump, his Republican allies and conservative hosts on Fox News unfurled a string of sexist attacks on Senator Kamala Harris, a day after she was chosen by Joseph R. Biden Jr. as his vice-presidential running mate.
Mr. Trump added to the barrage with a racist tweet on Wednesday morning claiming that Mr. Biden would put another Black leader, Senator Cory Booker, in charge of low-income housing in the suburbs. That tweet did not mention Ms. Harris, but it continued Mr. Trump’s tactic of playing into white racist fears about integration efforts as he declared, “The ‘suburban housewife’ will be voting for me.”
“They want safety & are thrilled that I ended the long running program where low income housing would invade their neighborhood,” Mr. Trump wrote. “Biden would reinstall it, in a bigger form, with Corey Booker in charge!”
The president did not explain why he referred to Mr. Booker, whose first name he misspelled. (Mr. Booker’s campaign team quickly turned the tweet into a fund-raising opportunity.) But the salvo came after a chorus of Fox News hosts on Tuesday night assailed Ms. Harris, attacking everything from the pronunciation of her name to Mr. Biden’s selection process for focusing on women of color.
Over and over on Tuesday night, Tucker Carlson, the Fox News host, mispronounced her first name, even growing angry when corrected. “So what?” he said, when a guest told him it was pronounced “Comma-la.”
Mr. Carlson said that there were “time-share salesmen you could trust more” than Ms. Harris and “payday lenders who are more sincere,” alluding to an institution long accused of exploiting poor communities of color.
Martha MacCallum, the Fox anchor, said that focusing the search for a running mate on women of color “takes away” from the selection process overall. The Fox News host Sean Hannity called Ms. Harris a senator with a “radical extremist record” whose selection “solidifies what’s the most extreme radical far-left out-of-the-mainstream ticket of any major political party in American history.”
Jeanine Pirro, another opinion host on the cable news channel, threw in a wildly conspiratorial twist, asking viewers, “Who really picked this woman to be the vice-presidential candidate?’
Ms. Harris ran her own presidential campaign and was widely seen as the most obvious choice for Mr. Biden: at once a conventional and groundbreaking choice. But when he finally announced her selection on Tuesday, Mr. Trump and his allies appeared to be caught without a coordinated game plan, lurching from one attack to another.
After Ms. Harris was chosen, Mr. Trump described her four times as “nasty” or “nastier,” using some of his favorite terms for female opponents, and complained that she had not been nice to his Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh during confirmation hearings.
Hours after calling Ms. Harris the “most liberal” member of the Senate, the Republican National Committee sent out an email blast saying that progressives hated her because she was not progressive enough.
Ms. Harris will have several chances in the coming months to respond directly to criticism from Mr. Trump’s allies, including during the vice presidential debate on Oct. 7, when she will share the stage with Vice President Mike Pence.
Andrew Bates, a spokesman for the Biden campaign, said Mr. Trump’s tweet about suburban housing amounted to “clumsy, bigoted lies” and showed the president was “dumbfounded after Joe Biden’s selection of a strong running mate.”
In announcing Senator Kamala Harris as his running mate, Joseph R. Biden Jr. told supporters she was the person best equipped to “take this fight” to Mr. Trump, making space in a campaign premised on restoring American decency for a willing brawler who learned early in her career that fortune would not favor the meek among Black women in her lines of work.
“She had to be savvy to find a way,” said Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey, who has known Ms. Harris for more than two decades. “There was no path laid out for her. She had to find her way through the kind of set of obstacles that most people in the positions that she’s held have not had to ever deal with.”
It is this dexterity, people close to her say, that has most powered Ms. Harris’s rise — and can be most frustrating to those who wish her electoral fearlessness were accompanied by policy audacity to match.
Caustic when she needs to be but cautious on substantive issues more often than many liberals would like, Ms. Harris has spent her public life negotiating disparate orbits, fluent in both activist and establishment circles without ever feeling entirely anchored to either.
Friends say she can be difficult to pin down in part because she is, by virtue of her identity, not like any political figure who came before — a lawmaker whose strengths and tics can at times feel incongruous.
As a young candidate for district attorney, Ms. Harris was by turns an irrepressible fixture in supermarket parking lots, unfurling an ironing board from her car as a canvas for campaign materials, and a canny veteran of the San Francisco society pages, with an overstuffed Filofax full of high-end fund-raising contacts. (Friends eventually made her switch to a Palm Pilot.)
She can project an air of disarming nonchalance, holding forth on cooking and 1990s hip-hop music with a just-between-us touch. She has also often defaulted to a political reticence so firmly held that her own aides had trouble explaining her positions on several key issues throughout a 2020 campaign that did not make it to 2020.
President Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, met privately last weekend with Kanye West, the rapper who has filed petitions to get on the November ballots for president in several states.
The meeting took place in Colorado, where Mr. Kushner was traveling with his wife, Ivanka Trump, those familiar with the meeting said. Mr. West had been camping in Colorado with his family, and afterward flew to Telluride to meet with Mr. Kushner and Ms. Trump, but was not accompanied by his wife, Kim Kardashian West, those with knowledge of the meeting said.
After an inquiry, Mr. West tweeted Tuesday evening: “I’m willing to do a live interview with the New York Time about my meeting with Jared,” adding that they had discussed a book about Black empowerment called “PowerNomics.” He did not elaborate on his meeting with Mr. Kushner in a brief follow-up interview. He instead expressed anger about abortion rates among Black women and said he didn’t reflexively support Democrats.
A White House spokesman did not respond to an email seeking comment.
The meeting came at a notable time. Mr. West recently criticized Joseph R. Biden Jr. in an interview with Forbes. He did not deny that he is acting as a spoiler to damage the Biden campaign with his effort to get on several ballots in states like Colorado, where he will appear. It’s less clear that his name will be on the ballot in Wisconsin, where his signature petitions are being challenged.
Silicon Valley and Wall Street cheered the selection of Kamala Harris as a running mate who would reinforce Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s moderate policy stances. Mr. Biden had already been gaining traction among tech and finance executives, and his pick is likely to strengthen that support.
In Ms. Harris, Silicon Valley sees a familiar face: She got her start in the Bay Area and has been a fixture in fund-raising circles there for decades. Tech executives appear reassured by her circumspect stance on things like breaking up the sector’s dominant companies.
During her presidential primary run last year, when asked by The New York Times whether she would break up tech companies, she didn’t answer directly but said her “first priority” was regulation that gave consumers better control of their privacy.
For Wall Street, Ms. Harris was a moderate choice, in contrast to more left-leaning candidates in the Democratic primary race who called for a tougher line on finance firms. That said, during her presidential primary campaign, Ms. Harris said that she would pay for her health-care plans with taxes on financial transactions, an unpopular move in bank boardrooms.
Although Mr. Biden has vowed to raise some taxes and has signaled that he will crack down on corporate America, many of the details remain vague. Traders and financiers have donated more to Mr. Biden’s campaign than to President Trump’s by a factor of nearly five to one.
“I think she’s the perfect partner for Biden,” said Marc Lasry, co-founder of Avenue Capital and a supporter of Mr. Biden’s campaign. “She’s smart and extremely experienced.”
Wall Street was likely to look favorably on almost any moderate running mate, said Michael Novogratz, who runs a cryptocurrency investment firm and has been a big Biden backer. Stock market futures rose after Mr. Biden announced his pick.
But given his expectation that a Biden administration would raise taxes and adopt a more conservative approach to spending, Mr. Novogratz said, “I think Wall Street is out of their minds, thinking the Democrats are going to be good for the stock market.”
Climate activists praised the selection of Ms. Harris, saying the move signaled a sustained Democratic focus on environmental justice.
Ms. Harris was an original co-sponsor of the Green New Deal, an expansive plan to curb planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions while also addressing economic inequality. She supports abolishing the Senate filibuster if Republicans stand in the way of passing climate change legislation. And she has called for a $10 trillion increase in spending over a decade as well as a price on carbon dioxide pollution, with a dividend that is returned directly to households.
Ms. Harris’s core environmental focus has consistently been on how poor communities are disproportionately affected by polluting industries.
A former prosecutor, Ms. Harris vowed to maximize the power of the legal system to punish corporate polluters. Last year she laid out specific plans for protecting vulnerable communities, including establishing an independent Office of Climate and Environmental Justice Accountability and scoring environmental regulations or legislation based on how they affect low-income communities.
“I’m super hopeful,” said Catherine Flowers, a senior fellow at the Center for Earth Ethics. The choice of Ms. Harris, she said, “is elevating the conversation and making it a priority.”
White House officials have explored whether President Trump has the power to sidestep Congress and unilaterally cut a broad swath of taxes as the president looks for ways to inject fuel into a slumping economy, according to a senior administration official.
While such a move is not imminent, Mr. Trump’s advisers have sought legal guidance from White House lawyers about whether the president has the authority to eliminate certain taxes, including income and business taxes, without the approval of Congress.
The discussions about how much power the president can wield over tax policy come as Mr. Trump prepares to delay payroll taxes for some workers until the end of the year. But unlike that move, which simply defers what workers owe until some point in the future, the White House is discussing whether the president can actually eliminate taxes owed by businesses, workers and investors.
The legality of such a move is dubious, but Mr. Trump has not been shy about pushing the boundaries of his authority. He has made clear that another big tax cut will be a central part of his pitch for a second term. Getting such a tax cut through Congress would be tough, particularly if Democrats retain control of the House.
A Treasury spokeswoman declined to comment on internal discussions about additional tax cuts. A White House spokesman did not respond to a request for comment.
White House officials are aware that stretching the boundaries of tax policy would bring backlash from Democrats and Republicans, along with possible legal challenges. But Mr. Trump, who had planned to campaign on a record economic expansion before the coronavirus pandemic struck, has made little headway in developing new economic policies that could help the U.S. climb out of what is expected to be a long, slow and painful recovery.
White House officials believe that temporarily delaying taxes is a powerful political tool for the president. It allows him to draw a contrast Mr. Biden, who would raise some taxes if elected. And they believe that it will put Democrats in what will be the uncomfortable position of allowing those taxes to be reinstated when the deferment expires.
A Republican candidate for Congress in Connecticut who dropped out of the primary race at the last moment after being arrested Monday night was in a virtual tie with his opponent as of Wednesday afternoon.
The candidate, Thomas Gilmer, trailed his opponent, Justin Anderson, by just 11 votes out of more than 17,000 votes cast. Mr. Gilmer, 29, was charged Monday with strangulation and unlawful restraint in connection with a “possible domestic assault,” the authorities said.
State officials said on Tuesday that if Mr. Gilmer won the primary, he would remain on the November ballot unless he formally withdrew. Republicans might be able to nominate someone to replace Mr. Gilmer if he wins and withdraws, depending on the timing, the Connecticut Secretary of State’s office said.
Whoever ends up as the Republican candidate faces long odds in November against the seven-term Democratic incumbent, Representative Joe Courtney, who was re-elected with 62 percent of the vote in 2018.
Here are results from some of Tuesday’s other races:
In a Georgia runoff between two Republicans to replace Representative Doug Collins, Andrew Clyde, a gun dealer and a Navy veteran, beat Matt Gurtler, a state legislator. Mr. Collins, also a Republican, is leaving his seat to challenge Senator Kelly Loeffler in November.
Republicans in Minnesota’s Seventh Congressional District chose Michelle Fischbach, a former lieutenant governor, to face off in November against the longtime incumbent Representative Collin Peterson, a conservative Democrat in a rural district that leans heavily Republican.
If Kamala Harris becomes vice president, her ascension would leave an opening in January for her seat in the Senate. The pick would be made by Gov. Gavin Newsom of California.
In this morning’s California Today newsletter, The Times’s California correspondents Adam Nagourney and Jennifer Medina tossed around names of possible successors. One is Representative Karen Bass of Los Angeles, who was herself on Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s short list for vice president and is the former speaker of the State Assembly. Another is the mayor of Los Angeles, Eric Garcetti.
Here’s more of our reporters’ thinking:
Jennifer Medina: “Within minutes of the announcement, I had texts from politicos around the state throwing out names that included Ms. Bass, Mr. Garcetti, as well as State Senator Maria Elena Durazo, former Senate majority leader Kevin de Leon and Attorney General Xavier Becerra (who was appointed by then-Gov. Jerry Brown after Ms. Harris won her Senate seat). Needless to say, there will be a lot of jockeying in the coming months.”
Adam Nagourney: “Here’s a conspiracy theory for you. Mr. Newsom picks Mayor Eric Garcetti, just to make absolutely sure Mr. Garcetti doesn’t think of primary-ing him in a few years.”
In 2015, when Donald Trump used the Neil Young song “Rockin’ in the Free World” to announce his presidential campaign, it did not make Mr. Young happy.
But the rocker did not think there was anything he could do, and the song became yet another in the long list of anthems repurposed by candidates against artists’ wishes. (Other examples: Ronald Reagan’s use of Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the U.S.A.,” Barack Obama’s use of Sam and Dave’s “Hold On, I’m Comin’” and John McCain’s use of “Still the One” by Orleans.)
Now, Mr. Young is trying a new strategy. Last week, he sued the Trump campaign over the use of “Rockin’ in the Free World” and another song, “Devil’s Sidewalk,” both of which were played at Mr. Trump’s rally in Tulsa, Okla., in June.
Mr. Young accused the campaign of copyright infringement for playing the tracks without a license, and asked for the campaign to be ordered to stop using them, as well as for statutory damages.
Mr. Young’s complaint said he “in good conscience cannot allow his music to be used as a ‘theme song’ for a divisive, un-American campaign of ignorance and hate.”
The suit, and others like it filed in the last few years, relies on artists withdrawing songs from the lists of works offered to political campaigns by performing-rights organizations like ASCAP and BMI, which license the rights for millions of songs in exchange for a fee.
But it is not clear whether such withdrawals are allowed under ASCAP and BMI’s agreements with the federal government, which were instituted to prevent anticompetitive conduct.
Mr. Young’s case is being closely watched as a test of artists’ power to protect their work against political use.
As a nation unpacks the political implications of Kamala Harris’s selection on Tuesday as the Democratic vice-presidential nominee, at least one sizable constituency could stand to benefit: those who enjoyed Maya Rudolph’s star appearances as the California senator on “Saturday Night Live.”
The former “S.N.L.” cast member shined in three guest appearances lampooning the Democratic primaries, depicting Ms. Harris as a “fun aunt” who “will give you weed, but then arrest you for having weed.” The performances earned Ms. Rudolph an Emmy nomination for guest actress in a comedy series and an approving tweet from Ms. Harris herself.
Ms. Rudolph, who was in the cast of “S.N.L.” on NBC from 2000 to 2007, was in the middle of recording an “Entertainment Weekly” panel discussion on Tuesday when Ms. Harris was announced as Mr. Biden’s pick. She did not commit to playing Ms. Harris when “S.N.L.” returns for its scheduled 46th season in the fall, but seemed intrigued by the idea.
“I love going to the show,” Ms. Rudolph said. “Any excuse I can get, I love.”
Ms. Harris appeared to have little problem with the impersonation. In October, before she dropped out of the race, she told MSNBC, “I plan on keeping Maya Rudolph in work for the next eight years.”
The Times is hosting a discussion at 6 p.m. Eastern about what Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s selection of Senator Kamala Harris of California as his running mate means for his campaign and the election. A former rival who later became a vocal supporter, Ms. Harris will be the first Black woman to be nominated for national office by a major political party. The virtual event will be hosted by Rachel Dry, deputy politics editor, and include the Miami bureau chief, Patricia Mazzei, and the politics reporters Alexander Burns, Astead W. Herndon and Nick Corasaniti. Sign up here.