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Republican attorneys general denounce Harris; women’s group criticizes Pence

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — Hours before the only vice presidential debate, several Republican attorneys general spoke Wednesday morning, criticizing Sen. Kamala Harris — coining her as the “original lawless liberal.”

Speaking downtown, the Republican Attorneys General condemned Harris for her stances on issues including immigration, gun rights and policing.  

“She had no business being the attorney general of California with her disregard for the rule of law,” said Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge. “She has no business being a U.S. senator, and Kamala Harris certainly has no business being the vice president of the United States to a frail and failing president if Joe Biden were to be elected.”

Harris served as California attorney general for seven years before her election to the Senate in 2016. 

Hours before vice presidential debate

The criticism came just hours before Harris will face off against Vice President Mike Pence in a debate at the University of Utah Wednesday night. Both candidates have been in Utah for the last few days preparing for the event. 

Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes said he spoke with the Pence debate team as soon as 3 a.m. Wednesday, calling the vice president “laser-focused.”

“I want the American people to hear our vice president, Mike Pence, make his case for four more years,” Reyes told the Deseret News. “And I’m also excited for the American people to hear Sen. Kamala Harris.”

Reyes pointed to Harris as a candidate who supports “defunding the police ” — calling her a “danger to law and order.” He blamed what he called her “dangerous rhetoric” for encouraging violent protests across the country. 

Reyes’s opponent in the Utah Attorney General’s race, Greg Skordas, defended Harris and her record as California’s Attorney General in an interview with KSL NewsRadio. 

“She certainly worked very closely with police officers. She certainly prosecuted difficult cases and, as a result of that, a great number of people were convicted because of her good work,” Skordas said.     

Women’s group boosts Harris

On the other hand, the UltraViolet PAC — a national women’s advocacy organization — paid for a mobile billboard endorsing Harris. The sign will travel through the college campus and downtown Salt Lake City.

It reads: “Kamala is Ready to Help Rebuild a Country That Works For Us All.”

The group is heavily set against Pence; they call him “one of the most openly anti-woman, anti-Black, anti-queer and anti-immigrant elected officials in America.”

“We need representatives who truly believe equality applies to everyone, not just white men,” said Shaunna Thomas, executive director of UltraViolet. “We are confident that Sen. Harris will hold the current administration accountable on these issues at the podium.”