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Kamala Harris speaks at College of Charleston in ‘Fight for Our Freedoms’ tour

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) – Vice President Kamala Harris arrived in Charleston Wednesday afternoon for her appearance at the College of Charleston.

The visit is one stop on her “Fight for Our Freedoms College Tour,” which focuses on critical issues that affect young Americans.

She paused after disembarking from the plane to make a few brief comments about the war in Israel.

“Needless to say I’m completely outraged by what has taken place. we are looking at extreme acts of terrorism that must be condemned in no uncertain terms. There is absolutely no justification for terrorism,” she said.

She reiterated the Biden Administration’s commitment to Israel and its people to “support them and in particular to give Israel what it needs to defend itself.”

“One of our highest priorities, of course, is the safety and well-being of American citizens and that will continue to be among our highest priority,” she said. “And it’s also critically important that as we have been, we will stay in constant communication and contact with our allies, with our Israeli partners with members of Congress, as we have been doing in these last few days.”

Harris’s flight was delayed from its original arrival time of 11 a.m. Her plane touched down shortly after 1:30 p.m.

She is now expected to speak at the College of Charleston at approximately 3:10 p.m. The event is being live-streamed by the White House.

During the event at the College of Charleston’s Sottile Theatre, HarriS addressed several topics, including reproductive freedom, gun safety and voting rights as well as pressing matters like climate action, LGBTQ+ equality, and concerns surrounding book bans.

On the topic of Gun Violence, Harris said this college-aged generation is unique in that gun violence in classrooms is something they’ve grown up with. Nearly everyone in the crowd raised their hands when she asked who had participated in active shooter drills in school.

“It is a false choice that the obstructionists try to push to say you’re either in favor of the Second Amendment or you want to take everyone’s guns away, I am in favor of the Second Amendment, and I believe we need an assault weapons ban,” Harris said.

Harris also touched on reproductive rights when a College of Charleston student asked a question on behalf of his friend, who he said is worried about her right to seek reproductive care in South Carolina. The student asked Harris what she’s doing to secure South Carolinians’ reproductive care in the future.

Harris said it’s important to realize the right to reproductive care affects everyone regardless of their gender. She said this generation needs to act quickly to elect people into Congress who agree that the government “shouldn’t tell women what they can and cannot do with their bodies.”

“A woman knows what’s in her best interest rather than having a bunch of these folks up in these State Capitals trying to tell her what to do, when in fact you look closely at some of these laws and it becomes clear that of these state legislators don’t even know how a woman’s body works,” Harris said.

The VP visit comes at the same time as the Supreme Court begins hearing arguments in South Carolina’s redistricting case. The district lines for the state’s First Congressional District, SC-01, are under fire as the high court is taking up a case from the Palmetto state where some groups are arguing the state district lines need to be redrawn.

In January, three federal judges decided SC-01, which includes parts of Charleston, Colleton, Berkeley, Beaufort and Jasper Counties, is an unconstitutional racial gerrymander. The panel concluded that Republican state lawmakers drew SC-01 in a way that discriminates against and excludes more than 30,000 Black voters. This was one of the hot-button topics the VP took up today.

“I can’t talk about the case, just as a point of reference, but let me just say this: let’s understand that it is wrong that any elected official would try to choose who can vote for them when it should be the voter who chooses who represents them,” Harris said.

Hearings for the case started Wednesday, the same day as the VP’s visit.

Republican Party responds to Harris’ visit

Ahead of Harris’s visit, Live 5 News reached out to Republican politicians throughout the Lowcountry about their thoughts on her stop in Charleston.

Presidential candidate and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and a spokesperson for the South Carolina Republican Party provided statements.

Spokesman for Nikki Haley, Ken Farnaso, provided the following statement:

As beautiful as Charleston is, it’s nowhere near the southern border where Kamala Harris should be. She had one job as border czar—fix the border crisis Joe Biden created, and she has failed miserably.

The topics addressed during Harris’ visit included some controversial topics in America right now, such as book bans and gun safety laws.

South Carolina Republican Party Chairman Drew McKissick said the following:

The big problem with Kamala Harris is that she’s not taken seriously by the American people because she’s not a serious person. Otherwise, she wouldn’t be coming here to talk about climate change and gun control while Americans are suffering with inflation and higher interest rates and are desperate to get our borders secured – especially given the chance that terrorists could use our open borders to commit atrocities here in America like they have done in Israel.

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