'There's so much at stake': VP Harris visits Twin Cities ahead of midterms

Three people stand on a stage to speak.
Vice President Kamala Harris speaks during a reproductive rights policy event on Saturday at Metropolitan State University in St. Paul.
Steven Maturen for MPR News

With just more than two weeks to go until the midterm election, Vice President Kamala Harris stopped in the Twin Cities on Saturday for a roundtable on reproductive rights and a fundraiser for DFL Gov. Tim Walz.

Harris’ first appearance was in St. Paul for the midday discussion at Metro State University with Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan (D-MN) and the host of the “She Pivots” podcast, Emily Tisch Sussman.

Harris called the abortion restrictions passed in some states “immoral.”

“When I look around the country and I've been traveling around the country, and there are these extremist, so-called leaders, passing laws or proposing laws on this issue with no exception for rape or incest,” Harris said. “So understand we're talking about a human being who has endured an act of extreme violence and violation to their body. And so-called leaders would then deprive that individual of the ability to make decisions about their body going forward."

Three people stand on a stage to speak.
Vice President Kamala Harris speaks during a reproductive rights policy event with Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan on Saturday at Metropolitan State University in St. Paul.
Steven Maturen for MPR News

Harris warned the outcome of the midterms could go a long way toward determining future access to things like same-sex marriage and contraception.

“So much about the progress of our nation when we have tracked it has been measured by the expansion of rights,” Harris said. “And now we are seeing an intentional restriction of rights. What is that saying about the trajectory and the direction of our country? There's so much at stake."

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Later, Harris headed to Minneapolis for the fundraiser with Walz, which Republicans charged was the true reason for her visit.

"I think it's an insult that Kamala Harris is being asked to come here simply for mere dollars for a campaign that won't debate, that won't let Minnesotans have a transparent discussion about why do the candidates say what they do and why did the candidates do what they did,” said Scott Jensen, Walz’s Republican opponent.

Jensen and Walz debated on Tuesday. MPR News will host their third and likely last debate on Friday.

DFL Chair Ken Martin said that other high-profile Democrats could make stops to campaign in Minnesota ahead of Election Day. With several tight races on the ballot, Martin said state leaders had requested additional visits from Biden administration officials. Election Day is Nov. 8.