Kamala Harris rode her performance in Thursday night’s Democratic debate to “the best fundraising day of the campaign.” But one tactic that helped bring in $2 million in 24 hours is turning off some would-be supporters.
During the debate, she took former Vice President Joe Biden to task for his past opposition to federally mandated school busing, saying, “There was a little girl in California who was part of the second class to integrate her public school, and she was bused to school every day. That little girl was me.”
The next day, her campaign website was selling T-shirts with a photo of a pigtailed Harris as a child with part of the quote — “That little girl was me” — for $29.99.
The California senator’s campaign communications director, Lily Adams, boasted about the fundraising total Saturday, tweeting, “More than half are new contributors.”
Adams didn’t say how many contributions involved a T-shirt buy, but the campaign said the average donation from more than 63,000 individuals was about $30.
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The merch was opportunistic at best, critics said.
“Harris just went from one of my top choices to somewhere just above Williamson,” tweeted Tom Nichols, a Naval War College professor and prominent anti-Trumper, referencing bottom-tier candidate Marianne Williamson.