WATCH: Kamala Is ‘Essentially Running for President’ Given Biden’s Age, Says CNN Commentator

CNN contributor Van Jones said on-air Wednesday that Vice President Kamala Harris is "essentially running for president" in her 2024 reelection campaign with Joe Biden.

"She is in such an unusual position," Jones told anchor Michael Smerconish on CNN Primetime. "She's a woman. She's black. She's Asian. And she's running alongside the oldest person to ever do it. So she's essentially running for president. That's what she's doing. And I think people understand that."

Jones predicted that Harris—whose approval rating is even lower than Biden's and whose own 2020 presidential bid was a flop—will impress Americans once they see more of her.

"I just think sometimes if the team never really gives you the ball and lets you shoot your shot, you might underestimate that player," Jones said. "I expect people will become more and more impressed with her as she gets more and more opportunity. I don’t think she’s been given the opportunity in the last two years to shoot her shots."

"I think you will see her grow now that she has the opportunity," Jones added. "Everybody understands this is the oldest guy ever to run, so the VP matters a ton. She will be under more scrutiny, but I think she will also have more opportunity to prove herself."

Biden, 80, who announced Tuesday that he is running for reelection, would be 86 years old at the end of a second term. Already the oldest serving president in U.S. history, Biden has faced growing scrutiny of his unsteady public appearances and his limited and stage-managed interactions with the press.

Asked during a press conference Wednesday about concerns he is too old, Biden said, "I took a hard look at it before I decided to run, and I feel good and excited about the prospects."

Biden's choice to seek a second term, contrary to indications he gave in 2019, was reportedly influenced by his belief that Harris cannot defeat former president Donald Trump, the GOP presidential frontrunner.

Published under: Joe Biden , Kamala Harris