Sen. Dianne Feinstein said on Thursday that she would support former Vice President Joe Biden in a bid for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020, but perhaps not her fellow California senator, Kamala Harris.
“Joe was chairman of the Judiciary [Committee] when he came to this place,” Feinstein told reporters, according to Politico. “I’ve watched him as vice president. I’ve seen him operate. I’ve seen him perform. He brings a level of experience and seniority, which I think is really important.”
Feinstein and Biden served together in the Senate for 16 years.
When asked by the Los Angeles Times whether she would also support Harris, who was elected to the Senate in 2016, Feinstein said, “I’m a big fan of Sen. Harris, and I work with her. But she’s brand-new here, so it takes a little bit of time to get to know somebody.”
In response to HuffPost’s request for further clarification, a spokesman for the senior senator said in an email, “Senator Feinstein spoke about her many years of working with Joe Biden in the Senate and as vice president. When asked about Senator Harris, she said she very much enjoys working with her and has gotten to know her better over the past two years.”
“She was juxtaposing with VP Biden, whom she has known for decades,” Feinstein’s spokesman added. “Seems to me that ‘takes a little bit of time to get to know somebody’ speaks for itself and the breathless treatment here is yet another attempt to create conflict.”
Harris’ office did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment on Feinstein’s remarks.
Both Biden and Harris are reportedly considering a run for the presidency in 2020, although neither has said publicly whether they plan to do so.
On Monday, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) became the highest-profile Democrat to indicate her interest in running in 2020 by launching an exploratory committee, which allows her to begin raising money for a campaign. Other big-name lawmakers expected to bid for the Democratic nomination include Sens. Cory Booker (N.J.) and Bernie Sanders (Vt.).