Capitol Alert

President Barack Obama stars in TV ad for Kamala Harris

President Barack Obama walks with California Attorney General Kamala Harris after arriving at San Francisco International Airport in San Francisco in 2012.
President Barack Obama walks with California Attorney General Kamala Harris after arriving at San Francisco International Airport in San Francisco in 2012. AP

President Barack Obama, whose summer endorsement of Kamala Harris dealt a stinging blow to U.S. Senate rival Loretta Sanchez, is appearing in a new statewide TV ad touting Harris’ accomplishments.

In the ad, Obama looks into the camera and says she fought big banks that took advantage of homeowners, cracked down on transnational gangs exploiting women and children and sued predatory for-profit colleges swindling students and leaving them in debt.

“As your senator, Kamala Harris will be a fearless fighter for the people of California every single day,” Obama says.

Obama’s spot, which follows his July tandem endorsement with Vice President Joe Biden, adds to Harris’ outreach in the final weeks of the campaign.

The president’s initial support did not go over well with Sanchez, who criticized Obama. Then, in a Spanish-language interview shortly after, she said the endorsement was in part based on race. Sanchez noted Obama and Harris are longtime friends, and then added: “She is African American. He is, too.”

Though Harris asked Sanchez to apologize to Obama, an expression of regret never came.

Harris was an early Obama supporter, braving cold Iowa nights to canvas neighborhoods for him ahead of the 2008 presidential election. Three years ago, Obama apologized after calling Harris “by far, the best-looking attorney general in the country” during a fundraiser in San Francisco.

A White House spokesman said the president did not want to diminish the attorney general’s professional accomplishments.

Christopher Cadelago: 916-326-5538, @ccadelago

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