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VP Kamala Harris makes 6th trip to Nevada on Las Vegas Strip; says Biden is 'a fighter'

VP Kamala Harris makes 6th trip to Nevada on Las Vegas Strip; says Biden is 'a fighter'

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) -- Vice President Kamala Harris made her sixth trip to Nevada in 2024 Tuesday at Resorts World on the Las Vegas Strip, calling her running mate –President Joe Biden – a fighter.

"The past few days have been a reminder that running for President of the United States is never easy," Harris told a roomful of several hundred supporters – most of them Asian American. "But the one thing that we know about our President Joe Biden is that he is a fighter. And he is the first to say when you get knocked down, you get back up.”  

Without directly saying so, Harris was perhaps doing some damage control after last month's presidential debate. Biden, in the aftermath of that debate, has been battling the drumbeat of critics – including some lawmakers in Washington, D.C. – asking for him to step aside. Harris, in that event, would be a likely successor to top the Democratic ticket against former president Donald Trump, the likely Republican candidate for the nation's top political office.

Harris had some choice words about their main rival.

"Donald Trump wants to turn our Democracy into a dictatorship," Harris told her supporters.

Tuesday's event was, in part, designed to court the Asian-American vote, which is the fastest-growing segment of Nevada's voting populous. Harris is the first person of South Asian descent to serve as vice president.

Maya Kwong, a Las Vegas restauranter, introduced Harris to the stage. Her eatery,  Xiao Long Dumplings, catered for the event.

Kwong, who is of Chinese descent, said in an interview prior to taking the stage that her community is focused on the people running for office and not the politics.

"It's very very important because we are very united as a community," Kwong said. Specifically, Kwong said she feels the Democratic ticket cares about small business owners.

Harris' scheduled campaign stop Tuesday followed a surprise visit to the U.S. Men's Olympic men's basketball team practice at Thomas & Mack Center, the arena at which UNLV's basketball teams play most of its home games. 

Harris shook hands with the players, chatted briefly with LeBron James and a few others, and posed for a group photo with the team.

“Truly, you all represent the best of the best,” Harris told them. “And being Team USA, it is about representing our nation. You are, as you are every day on and off the court, ambassadors for who we are as a country. You represent leaders in every walk of life. And for you to go to Paris and bring back that gold is just another example of your excellence, your teamwork, your compassion and your commitment.”

U.S. Assistant Coach Erik Spoelstra said he didn't know the vice president was coming to practice.

President Biden will be at his own campaign events in Las Vegas next week.

Biden will speak Tuesday, July 16, at the NAACP National Convention at Mandalay Bay on the south end of the Strip. He is expected to discuss the administration’s commitment to advancing racial justice and equity for all Americans, including Black Americans, according to a White House press statement.

On Wednesday, Biden will speak at the UnidosUS Annual Conference at the MGM Grand on his administration’s accomplishments including lowering prescription drug costs for America’s seniors, lowering the Latino uninsured rate and creating a Latino small business boom, the White House statement said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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