SACRAMENTO (AP) — Attorney General Kamala Harris on Saturday urged Democrats to use their recent gains at California’s ballot box to push for changes on gun control, gay marriage, climate change and other issues, telling delegates at the state party’s convention that they should not accept Republican arguments to wait.
Harris took the stage to U2’s “Beautiful Day” but made no direct reference to President Barack Obama’s remark earlier this month calling her the “best-looking” attorney general in America. It sparked a national discussion about whether such comments detract from women’s accomplishments, and the president apologized to Harris the next day.
She has not addressed the issue publicly and made only an apparent veiled reference at the beginning of her remarks to the 2,000 party delegates. Referring to state party Chairman John Burton, who frequently salts his speech with four-letter words, Harris said he “never self-censors.”
Obama also called Harris brilliant, dedicated and tough when he was speaking at a Silicon Valley fundraiser April 4.
Harris’ remarks on Saturday seemed more like a stump speech for a gubernatorial bid than a summary of her accomplishments as attorney general since taking office in 2011, even touching on school funding.
“It’s time for comprehensive immigration reform. It’s time to stand with the people of Newtown for commonsense gun laws. Democrats, it’s time to stand up for workers and collective bargaining rights. It’s time to stand up for our women and lead the fight for reproductive freedom,” she said to applause.
A top prospect for California governor in 2018, Harris told fellow Democrats not to be content with waiting for changes on matters such as gay marriage, comparing that fight to the civil rights movement.
“Wait and let the states figure it out. Wait and let the political process run its meandering course. Wait until the majority gets comfortable with the rights of a minority,” Harris said. “But we know justice cannot be served cold.”
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