'No Time for Parlor Games': Buttigieg Denies Feud With Harris Amid Reports of West Wing Favoritism

© REUTERS / Leah MillisU.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg speaks to the news media during a press briefing at the White House in Washington/
U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg speaks to the news media during a press briefing at the White House in Washington/ - Sputnik International, 1920, 21.11.2021
Unnamed sources said to be from the VP's camp have accused the White House of unfairly sidelining and abandoning Harris amid criticism and low approval ratings, while quickly rushing to the defense of Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, who recently faced a backlash from some for taking paternity leave amidst a supply chain crisis.
During a Sunday appearance on NBC's "Meet the Press," Buttigieg dismissed media speculation of a political rivalry between him and the vice president, arguing that members of US President Joe Biden's cabinet are "too busy" to play into divisive reports.
"She and I are part of a team that is disciplined and doesn't focus on what's obsessing the commentators," Buttigieg told host Chuck Todd, noting that his relationship with Harris has not suffered.
"We're too busy with a job to do," he pointed out.
The US Transportation secretary said the administration is "laser-focused" and committed to "projects and legislation of generational significance."

"There's no room to get caught up in the parlor games, and I'm proud to be part of the Biden-Harris team," he said.

Buttigieg's comments follow questions about the future leader of the Democratic party. Some have speculated that there may be a 2024 toss-up between Harris and Buttigieg, who both ran for the Democratic nomination in the 2020 presidential election.
Concerns have also been expressed by some about the West Wing possibly sidelining Harris in an attempt to dim her political aspirations and boost Buttigieg, whose moderate political stance has been likened to that of Biden.

"It's hard to miss the specific energy that the White House brings to defend a white man, knowing that Kamala Harris has spent almost a year taking a lot of the hits that the West Wing didn't want to take themselves," an unnamed former Harris aide told CNN, recounting an October conversation they claimed to have had with several former and current allies of the vice president.

The White House and Vice President Kamala Harris' staff have denied reports suggesting mutual frustration between the West Wing and supporters of Harris.
More recently, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki asserted that criticism from the outside "absolutely" has ties to racism and sexism in the US.
"I do think that it has been easier, and harsher, from some in the right wing who have gone after her because she is the first woman, the first woman of color," she said during a virtual event livestreamed by Politico’s Women Rule Exchange.
"I'm not suggesting anyone will acknowledge that publicly, but I think there’s no question that the type of attacks ... is part of that."
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