‘Cheaters Don’t Like Getting Caught’: Harris Blasts Trump in Michigan


In one of her first campaign appearances since former President Donald J. Trump was convicted of falsifying business records, Vice President Kamala Harris sharply criticized him on Saturday as a “cheater” who believes himself above the law and argued that he should be disqualified for the presidency.

Ms. Harris, who headlined a state Democratic Party dinner in downtown Detroit, rebuffed Mr. Trump’s false claims that his trial, like the 2020 presidential election, was “rigged” and defended the judicial process behind his felony conviction.

“Simply put, Donald Trump thinks he is above the law,” she said. “This should be disqualifying for anyone who wants to be president of the United States.”

The speech on Saturday evening capped a day of campaigning across Michigan, a crucial battleground state. Ms. Harris was accompanied by the actress Octavia Spencer, attending a fund-raiser in Ann Arbor and stopping at a Black-owned bookstore in Ypsilanti.

In Detroit, the vice president opened her speech with remarks about the war in Gaza. As she tried to describe the Biden administration’s monthslong efforts to negotiate a cease-fire deal, a protester stood up and shouted at her and was quickly removed from the ballroom. Ms. Harris’s response was stern: “I value and respect your voice, but I’m speaking right now.”

She then continued her speech. “We have been working every day to bring an end to this conflict in a way that ensures Israel is secure, brings home all hostages, ends ongoing suffering for Palestinian people and ensures that Palestinians can enjoy their right to self-determination, dignity and freedom,” she said. “As President Biden said last week, it is time for this war to end.”

Turning to the election, Ms. Harris, the former top prosecutor of California, accused Mr. Trump of attacking “the foundations of our justice system.” She said that the former president was convicted by a jury of 12 Americans who were selected in part by his defense team, and that his lawyers had a chance to present their side of the evidence.

“You know why he complains? Because the reality is cheaters don’t like getting caught,” she said.

A spokeswoman for the Trump campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The event took place in a key swing state with heightened stakes. President Biden won Michigan’s primary in February, 81 percent to 13 percent, prevailing over a movement that urged Democrats to vote “uncommitted” on the ballot in protest of his support for Israel. But more than 100,000 voters took that stance against him, among them progressives, young people and many in the state’s large and politically active Arab American community. Mr. Biden’s campaign has also been seeking to shore up its support among Black voters in cities like Detroit.

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