Kamala Harris Taps Ageist Biden Critic as Campaign Communications Director

Brian Fallon (Paul Morigi/Getty Images)
December 12, 2023

Vice President Kamala Harris's latest hire has called for elderly public officials to step down and once mocked President Joe Biden for "trying to complete an answer" during a political debate.

Veteran Democratic operative Brian Fallon will serve as Harris's communications director on the campaign trail, according to the Washington Post. Fallon's résumé includes stints as spokesman for Hillary Clinton's ill-fated 2016 presidential bid and as head of Demand Justice, an activist group behind the movement to expand the Supreme Court.

Fallon has a history of comments that could prove awkward for his boss's boss. At Demand Justice, he spearheaded a campaign to pressure then-Supreme Court justice Stephen Breyer to retire because of Breyer's advanced age. A longtime Harris cheerleader, Fallon slammed Biden during a 2019 Democratic debate, writing on X, formerly Twitter, that "Biden trying to complete an answer is a tender moment," and criticizing Biden for his past collaboration with segregationists.

Biden, who was already the oldest president in history at the time of his inauguration, has rebuffed calls to end his 2024 campaign over concerns about his age. The president is known for his verbal gaffes and "strayed into a couple of hazy monologues" at the White House holiday party, Semafor's Ben Smith reported Monday.

The president's age isn't the only thing that could put him at loggerheads with Fallon. As the head of Demand Justice, Fallon claimed that failure to expand the Supreme Court would "let Donald Trump's justices make our mass shooting epidemic even worse." During the Black Lives Matter protests in 2020, Fallon stated, "Defund the police."

Biden has said he opposes the movements to defund police and to expand the Court.

Fallon has a much friendlier history with Harris, whom he praised for having "guts" during her questioning at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing of then-judge Brett Kavanaugh.

Fallon's group pushed numerous unfounded claims about Kavanaugh, expressing support for discredited Kavanaugh accuser Julie Swetnick a day after the committee referred her to the FBI for investigation over her false claims of rape.

In defending Harris, Fallon offered one of his strongest criticisms of Biden as the future running mates duked it out for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.

"​​White politicians and white commentators dont [sic] get to tell the two black candidates in the 2020 race they are wrong to take offense at Joe Biden's comments. Just stop," Fallon tweeted in June 2019. At a Democratic debate the day before, Harris and Sen. Cory Booker (D., N.J.) condemned Biden's praise for segregationists with whom he worked in the 1970s.

"A lot of people seem to be giving Biden a pass for that answer on slavery," Fallon tweeted during a September 2019 Democratic primary debate.

Fallon may have a harder time defending Harris now that he's on her payroll. Former staffers have described the vice president's office as toxic and expressed concerns at the prospect of Harris becoming president. Just 29 percent of Americans have a favorable view of Harris, according to a recent NBC News poll.

Update 4:15 p.m.: An earlier version of this piece incorrectly stated that Fallon mocked President Joe Biden for "trying to make a coherent answer." The words that Fallon actually used were "trying to complete an answer."