Harris and Buttigieg put on a united front amid rivalry reports

Ad Blocker Detected

Our website is made possible by displaying online advertisements to our visitors. Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker.

That was the official line from Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg on Thursday as he experimented with to downplay chatter about his political future, which has grow to be progressively intertwined with Vice President Kamala Harris, his touring companion on an infrastructure-themed trip Thursday.

The trip arrived as Washington chatter has heated up in excess of the possibility that Buttigieg could be positioned as the future standard-bearer of the Democratic Celebration in its place of the vice president, need to President Joe Biden not run for reelection in 2024. The idea has ignited studies of a shadow rivalry in between the pair that hung around their joint trip to North Carolina to tout the freshly handed infrastructure law and its effect on the nation’s transit.

“The full place of campaigns and elections is, when they go nicely you get to govern. And we are squarely focused on the position at hand,” Buttigieg instructed reporters in a mid-flight gaggle aboard Air Pressure Two.

Whilst it really is unclear no matter if the joint celebration was supposed to quell chatter of the peaceful competitors — a White Dwelling formal advised CNN the vacation was planned a “while back,” as is other vice presidential travel with Cupboard secretaries — but both of those Harris and Buttigieg appeared to acquire wonderful hard work to display that all was properly with the barrier-breaking Democratic stars.

Right before having off, Buttigieg remaining Air Drive Two to greet Harris on her landing at Joint Base Andrews. Standing along with Democratic Rep. Alma Adams of North Carolina, he and Harris shared a speedy hug that Harris initiated.

Touring a bus depot in Charlotte, Harris turned to Buttigieg before boarding a new electric bus, stating, “Secretary, will you be a part of me?” Inside, Harris joked the car “has that new bus smell,” which drew a chortle from the secretary. And when she sat down at the wheel of the bus and blasted the horn, Buttigieg was proper by her facet.

The pair’s goodwill appeared to reach a crescendo when Buttigieg committed a part of his remarks to praise the hrs Harris logged encouraging to transform the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill into law, recounting a time in which she spoke at “just the appropriate instant” in the Oval Office environment, telling the lawmakers about “the need to have to feel major, not to get shed in the particulars of the politics.”

“She was just proper,” he reported. Harris later thanked Buttigieg for his “extraordinary work” as secretary.

Buttigieg, 39, and Harris, 57, had been after rivals, along with a team of more than a dozen other folks, when they competed for the 2020 Democratic nomination for president. Due to the fact then, the pair’s husbands, Chasten Buttigieg and Doug Emhoff, have touted their friendship and posted to social media about their walks about the nation’s capital.

“Interviewed a new babysitter now,” Chasten Buttigieg wrote on Instagram the identical day as their spouses’ journey, posing in a photo with Emhoff, who was pushing the Buttigieg twins’ stroller.

But Thursday’s not-so-effortless broadcast of a cheerful marriage in front of community cameras and traveling print journalists arrives as guessing games about who could get Biden’s place is underway among the Democrats.

Biden has explained to allies privately and announced publicly that it is his intention to mount a reelection marketing campaign. But his reassurance has not fully stifled the doubters, and Harris’ role as the 2nd-in-command — a heartbeat away from the presidency — would seemingly put her in pole position to be the up coming Democratic presidential nominee.

On the other hand, CNN noted previous thirty day period that lots of in the vice president’s orbit have expressed irritation that Harris has not been adequately geared up or positioned by the White Dwelling and rather is being sidelined.

The Transportation secretary’s part in the long term of Democratic politics has been a person that has been closely watched. Harris loyalists instructed CNN they noticed an unfair typical at enjoy just after West Wing aides delivered protect to Buttigieg when he was attacked by the correct, while Harris experienced not been given equivalent security right after a number of missteps that introduced equivalent criticism.

But on Thursday, Harris’ allies sought to downplay any lingering tensions.

“The only people wondering 2024 is the DC bubble and Donald Trump,” a single previous aide explained to CNN. “As considerably as I can tell, it was a very good trip exactly where two stars of the Democratic Bash are highlighting a main administration accomplishment in a 2022 and ’24 battleground.”

On Air Force Two, Buttigieg did the exact same.

“As Transportation secretary I get to be the face of a whole lot of the investments that we are undertaking, but we would not be right here with no the leadership of the vice president,” the President and other individuals, Buttigieg included.

CNN’s Isaac Dovere and Donald Judd contributed to this report.