Harris toured the Institut Pasteur in Paris and spoke alongside a group of scientists to tout the U.S.-France alliance on scientific research.
She also made comments about how politicians should operate more like scientists.
“One of the things people in politics and government should really take from the approach of scientists- scientists operate with a hypothesis. I love that,” Harris said on Monday. “A hypothesis- it’s well-thought-out, it’s well-planned, they start out with a hypothesis and then they test it out knowing invariably, you’re trying something for the first time, there will be glitches, there will be mistakes. Then everyone gets together, no one gets beat up about it, you analyze it- what went wrong, reevaluate, update the hypothesis and start again.”
Harris then pivoted to what politicians do, mocking how they always stick to “The Plan” they campaigned on but repeatedly appeared to change her dialect whenever she used that phrase.
“In government, we campaign with ‘The Plan,’” Harris said. “Uppercase T, uppercase P, ‘The Plan!’ And then the environment is such we’re expected to defend ‘The Plan’ even when the first time we roll it out there may be some glitches and it’s time to reevaluate and then do it again.”
Her remarks went viral on Wednesday with critics pointing out the jarring vocal shift.
However, a report published in Politico Europe about Harris’ “unnoticed” visit to Paris tried to dispel the notion she attempted to use a French accent.
“The political battles playing out in Washington D.C. over the social safety net and climate bills the Biden administration is trying to get passed in Congress spilled into Harris’ visit when right-wing political operatives like Abigail Marone, the press secretary for Republican Missouri Senator Josh Hawley, erroneously accused her of putting on a French accent during a short speech to the Pasteur institute,” Politico Europe senior correspondent Rym Momatz wrote before quoting Marone’s tweet.
Momatz pushed back at critics who mocked her reporting on Twitter and accused her of trying to curry favor with the vice president.
“What a bizarre accusation to make. Why make up sth anyone w/language skills can fact-check when there’s enough to criticize VP Harris on that’s factual?” Momatz asked. “But apparently I’m at the orders of the @VP’s office. Honestly, the least they [could] have done is give me an exclusive [interview].”
Harris has been widely seen as the standard-bearer for the Democratic Party in 2024 if President Biden does not run for a second term, but polls have her viewed even more negatively than her boss.
A recent USA Today/Suffolk University poll showed Harris having a 28% approval rating among Americans, which is ten points lower than Biden.
The vice president has long been criticized for her handling of the border crisis after she was tapped by Biden to address the source of the surge of migration.