San Francisco (KTVU) - Democratic presidential hopeful Senator Kamala Harris received cheers from hundreds in San Francisco at the Sun-Reporter newspaper's 75th anniversary celebration of covering the Bay Area's African-American community.
Senator Harris praised the paper and publisher Amelia Ashley Ward and gave a speech around the theme of "speaking truth."
"This is a moment yes, that the truth matters," said Harris, "This is an inflection moment in the history of our country... this is a moment in time that is requiring each of us as individuals and collectively to look in a mirror and ask a question. That question is who are we?"
Harris, now 15 weeks into her run for the White House, is trying to answer that same question for voters. Who is she? And how will she represent the Democratic Party and a vision of America that is distinctive in a crowded field of 21 Democratic presidential candidates.
Her speech included appeals for unity.
"The vast majority of us have so much more in common then what separates us. and we must know and speak that truth," said Harris.
The truth for Harris, is that polls, including one in New Hampshire released by Monmouth University Thursday, show her among the top five candidates, but lagging well behind frontrunner Joe Biden and progressive Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.
Harris is in close contention with Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren and South Bend, Indiana mayor and openly gay veteran Pete Buttigieg.
The Monmouth poll showed that 68% of the likely New Hampshire voters were more interested in a candidate who could beat President Trump, than having someone they agreed with on most issues: https://www.monmouth.edu/polling-institute/documents/monmouthpoll_nh_050919.pdf/
Without ever naming the president, Harris made pointed jabs at his stand on immigration, health care, education, and foreign policy
"Let's speak truth, we need another commander-in-chief," said Harris Thursday night, "We have a Commander in Chief who would prefer to take the word of a Russian President over the word of the American intelligence community."
Harris has gained national attention, for her role on the Senate Judiciary Committee as a leading challenger to the Trump administration.
On Thursday, she sent a letter to Attorney General William Barr, saying he'd failed to answer her questions.
"It's a follow up cause he's still not giving us a satisfactory response," said Harris.
As for some Democrats saying the nation is facing a constitutional crisis, Harris says she thinks the conflict is approaching that point.
"If Congress fails to act in terms of bringing Mueller forward, if Congress fails to act in terms of requiring accountability, then yeah, that's a constitutional crisis," said Harris.
The California Senator attended two fundraisers on Thursday before the Sun-Reporter celebration. She is scheduled to hold four more in Southern California on Saturday.