MSNBC: 2020 Democratic Presidential Candidate Senator Kamala Harris discusses her campaign, impeachment, paid parental leave, and more with Katy Tur.
KATY TUR: The White House read out of the call -- I'm sure you've read that. I know you read the text messages that were released by the Democrats last week.
I know you know that the White House is stone walling and (ph) handing over -- over documents. If the vote was put to you today -- I know this is an if -- to convict the president in the Senate and remove him from office, would you be voting yes?
SEN. KAMALA HARRIS (D-CA): Yes. Based on everything I've seen, yes. I mean look, Katy, you know -- you know listen, I'm a former prosecutor. And let me just tell you, as far as I'm concerned, the subject -- the main subject of the impeachment, which is the issue of -- of yet again, Donald Trump eliciting help from a foreign government to interfere in our election of our president of the United States.
In this case we've basically got a confession. We've got a display of consciousness of guilt and attempt to cover up. You know, I don't know how much we need but apparently there's a second whistleblower, so we're going to get more.
But based on everything we know, including an admission by this president, I don't know that -- that -- that it leads in any other direction except to vote yes, which is what I believe I will do based on everything I know.
TUR: You're in Iowa today. How much are folks talking about this on the campaign trail?
HARRIS: People are talking about it and I think that the reason is that overall -- over the last two and half years, people have been feeling a great deal of skepticism and -- and concern about the integrity of our government.
And a large part of it has to do with the -- the displays such as what we're seeing in the last 24 hours by members of the Congress and -- and Donald Trump.
And what they are saying is that they want to know that there's going to be accountability and consequence. What they want to know is there is integrity in our government and its leaders.
And so this is -- is a pervasive feeling that -- that is expressed at the town halls I do, at the -- at the meetings that I do. I just had dinner with a family here in Iowa last night and it's something that is weighing on people.
And frankly, people are exhausted. People are exhausted. They want to know that our government has integrity and -- and that leaders are leading. And leading in a way that address the issues that wake people up in the middle of the night such as healthcare, the need to have a meaningful education for their children.
The ability for them to get through the end of the month and not have to take out a $400 loan from a payday lender. That's people want. They want to be able to believe that the government has integrity so it can deal with the issues that wake people up every morning.
TUR: Well, let's talk about your campaign and -- and what you're trying to focus on. You've reinvested in Iowa. You've opened ten new campaign offices there. You were, as you said, at someone's house last night making dinner with the family.
I don't know if that -- if that kid there liked that salad dressing in the end. I will say mustard is always a good addition to salad dressing.
But I wonder if you feel like in the beginning of your campaign that you maybe miscalculated how much Iowa was necessary. Is that why you're focusing again -- and if so, what are you trying to do there to get voters to -- to recognize you, to know who you are and know what your message is?
HARRIS: So it -- it was always the plan that after Labor Day we would double our resources. And so whereas before we had about 60 people on the ground in Iowa, today we have 130. We have opened offices throughout the state.
And you probably heard I'm practically moving to Iowa, because of course Iowa is the -- the first in this -- in the country, and the people here I have the ability -- and the proven ability -- to really help America see what is possible even if we've never seen it before.
There's so much about how I'm talking about our campaign that is about knowing that it is Iowa that made a decision that Barack Obama could be the nominee. That Hillary Clinton could be the nominee.
And you know, Katy, I'm at the point of my campaign where I have to tell you I'm just -- it's all about real talk and I'm aware that, you know, one of the elephants or the donkey in the room is people asking well, is she electable, is America ready for that.
And -- and I'm in Iowa talking to folks knowing that they have always had the ability to see what can be unburdened by what has been. So it's great to be here, and I really enjoy being here. And I'm spending a lot of time here.
TUR: Well, let's talk about how you convince them to -- that you're electable. Right now you're -- you're not high up in the polling. You have a ways to go before you catch up with Warren or Bernie or Biden or even Pete Buttigieg.
And -- and I think all of them, they way that they've gone out about their campaigns is offering either big structural change or something of a return to moderation, the normalcy of previous Democratic administrations.
Where do you fit in there? Are you offering big structural change, or are you more a return of normalcy -- and do you have to choose one in this race?
HARRIS: I think it is a false choice. And here's the thing, when I talk to people at the town halls and the -- the meetings that we do where hundreds and thousands of people have come, it is -- has never been the case that someone raises their hand and says you know the thing that wakes me up in the middle of the night is this debate about socialism versus capitalism.
That's not what is waking people up in the middle of the night. They want to know we have a plan, as I do for what will be the most significant middle class tax cut we've had in generations, which is for families that make less than $100,000 a year to give them a tax credit of up to $6,000 a year.
They want to know that we're focused on the fact that in Iowa and so many states our teachers are working two and three jobs because they are paid 11 percent less than similarly educated professionals, which is why my plan is for the first time in our nation's history to put a federal investment to close the teacher pay gap.
On average that's $13,500 a year. This is why people are showing up and why they are supporting my candidacy because they know that first of all we are not going to win by further dividing the country around where you are on some ideological spectrum.
People want to know that you see that the vast majority of us have so much more in common than what separates us. And that's how I come at this campaign and also knowing I have a unique ability, I believe, to unify our country.
I've lived in many places, I've lived in many cultures, and I know that in spite of these powerful forces, including Donald Trump that's trying to sell hate and division among us, I know that the vast majority of us have so much more in common than what separates us.
And -- and that appears to be a message that -- that Iowans and people around the country care about. They want to hear, they want to know that after all of the exhaustion over these last couple of years that we can unify and then address the issues that -- that challenge us.
TUR: Senator, before we go I just want to get your take on this new agenda that you've released today. The Children's Justice Agenda. You want to eliminate child poverty by 50 percent through an executive order. You also have a paid parental leave plan.
HARRIS: That's right.
TUR: Where you're going to give both parents; mothers, fathers, partners; six months paid leave.
HARRIS: That's right.
TUR: And you're going to fund that in part by employer and employee payroll tax. Also a tax on the 1 percent and fines for corporations who don't comply. You don't put a price on this plan and you don't say how much -- how much you'll raise through those -- those taxes. Can you give us some numbers?
HARRIS: Yes, I can. But let me -- it's about approximately $600 billion, which when you do the math it -- it is a great return on the investment because frankly, Katy, part -- a large part of my campaign and my -- my perspective is that in 2020, justice is on the ballot.
And it is everything from having a crook (ph) in the White House to justice being on the ballot when the average American family is a $400 unexpected expense away from complete upheaval.
Justice is on the ballot when working families in America know that their natural desire to parent their children may be a function of how much money they make every month and that should never be the case.
So my plan, my children's plan is about saying looking, this is a matter of justice. It's a matter of recognizing that on issue of raising the children of America, it should not be that the people who make a lot of money get the support, and those who are working hard every day are having to go back to work after two weeks after childbirth. That's crazy.