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Biden, Harris launch campaign with vow to ‘rebuild’ post-Trump US

They roll out campaign, with Kamala Harris saying Trump and Pence have left the US in tatters

WILMINGTON Democratic White House hopeful Joe Biden and his vice-presidential pick Kamala Harris - the first black woman tapped by a major party for the post - rolled out their campaign on Wednesday with a call to restore a broken nation.

Mr Biden, speaking alongside Ms Harris in his Delaware hometown of Wilmington, said it was time after one term of President Donald Trump to "rebuild this country".

"Everything we care about," Ms Harris said, "it is all on the line."

Ms Harris - a 55-year-old senator who would also be the first woman elected to the White House if the Democratic duo wins - pummelled the Republican President, saying he "just isn't up for the job".

Ms Harris, the daughter of Indian and Jamaican immigrants to the US, also sought to tap into the nationwide upheaval over police violence and racial disparities.

"We're experiencing a moral reckoning with racism and systemic injustice that has brought a new coalition of conscience to the streets of our country demanding change," she said.

And referring to her experience as a veteran prosecutor and California attorney-general, Ms Harris said of the President and his Vice-President: "The case against Donald Trump and Mike Pence is open and shut."

They have left the country "in tatters", she added.

APPROVE

Nearly nine out of 10 Democrats approve of Ms Harris as their party's vice-presidential nominee, and she is more popular than presidential candidate Joe Biden among women, young voters and some Republicans, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Wednesday.

The Aug 11-12 public opinion survey also found that 60 per cent of Americans, including 87 per cent of Democrats and 37 per cent of Republicans, considered the selection of Ms Harris - the first black woman and Asian American nominated for vice-presidency - to be a "major milestone" for the US.

Ms Harris is viewed about as favourably or better than Mr Biden in most major demographic groups, the poll showed, highlighting her potential to help the former vice-president expand his support in November's election.

The poll found 56 per cent of Americans have a favourable impression of Ms Harris, which is about the same as the number who favour Mr Biden. Some 42 per cent of US adults said they have a favourable view of Mr Trump and 47 per cent said the same of Mr Pence.

Among women, 60 per cent said they have a favourable view of Ms Harris, compared with 53 per cent who felt the same way about Mr Biden.

Women are the dominant force in American elections: They make up a bigger proportion of the US electorate than men, and a surge in support for Democrats among white, college-educated women helped the party retake the US House of Representatives in 2018.

In addition, about 25 per cent of Republicans said they had a favourable view of Ms Harris and approve of her choice as Mr Biden's running mate.

Ms Harris also is a little more popular among US adults younger than 35: Some 62 per cent said they view Ms Harris favourably, while 60 per cent said the same of Mr Biden. - AFP, REUTERS

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