Republicans turn their focus to Harris as talk of replacing Biden on Democratic ticket intensifies

NEW YORK — For years it’s been a Republican scare tactic.

A vote to reelect President Joe Biden, the GOP often charges, is really a vote for Vice President Kamala Harris. It’s an attack line sometimes tinged with racist and misogynist undertones and often macabre imagery.

But after Biden’s dismal performance at last week’s presidential debate, which has sparked Democratic calls for him to step aside, what was once dismissed as a far-right conspiracy — Harris replacing Biden — could now have a chance of coming to pass. And Republicans, including Donald Trump, are ramping up their attacks.

Trump and his allies have been rolling out new attack lines against Harris, insulting her abilities, painting her as Biden’s chief enabler and accusing her of being part of a coverup of his health. It’s an effort, campaign officials insist, that is not a reflection of their concerns about a potential change at the top of the ticket, given Biden’s insistence he is not leaving the race.

But in a post marking Independence Day on his Truth Social site Thursday, Trump singled out Harris, calling her his “potentially new Democrat Challenger” and giving her a new derisive nickname: “Laffin’ Kamala Harris.”

“She did poorly in the Democrat

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