Vice President-elect Kamala Harris defended Jill Biden’s accomplishments in an interview with “Good Morning America,” expressing disappointment that an editorial published by The Wall Street Journal had scolded her for using the title “doctor.”
“I was deeply disappointed that in 2020, that kind of approach would be given any legitimacy,” Harris said to anchor Robin Roberts in the interview, which aired on Wednesday.
The editorial — written by columnist Joseph Epstein — called Biden “kiddo” and insisted that it was “fraudulent, even comic” for the upcoming first lady to refer to herself as “Dr. Jill Biden” when her doctorate degree was in education, rather than medicine. After its publication, the article immediately received flak from Biden spokesman Michael LaRosa, who called it sexist.
Biden received her doctorate from the University of Delaware in 2007 at the age of 55 after working for 15 years and raising three children. After the editorial was published, Biden tweeted that one day, “we will build a world where the accomplishments of our daughters will be celebrated, rather than diminished.”
Harris said that belittling Biden’s accomplishments was unpatriotic: “She worked hard. She raised her kids. She went to night school. She got degrees. She earned everything she has. That’s the American way; that’s the American spirit. So, when there’s anyone who tries to diminish the significance of people who work hard, I think it’s just not the American way, frankly.”
The vice president-elect also spoke about her husband, Doug Emhoff, who also defended Biden last week in a tweet, arguing that The Wall Street Journal’s “story would never have been written about a man.” Harris said that he too, was challenging gender norms as the first second gentleman of the U.S.
“He’s very excited about it,” Harris said. “ … He has this sweatshirt that says ‘Girl Dad’ that’s almost in tatters. He is very proud to be the father of a daughter, and of course proud to be the father of a son. But he’s aware that we still have so much work to do to remind our children of every gender that they should not be confined by the limited perception that some might have of who they are and what they can be.”
Watch the full interview below.