Kamala Harris in South Carolina: 'Fight for ... who we are'

Declaring this midterm election year an "inflection point" in American history, Kamala Harris came Friday to South Carolina to tell Democrats that the way out of Donald Trump's America is through the ballot box.

The California senator may have been referring to Nov. 6 elections, but her surroundings — the state that hosts the first Southern presidential primary — also carried the air of another election year: 2020.

Harris demurred when asked about her looming decision on a White House bid. Still, she brought a message that could transition easily should she join what is expected to be a crowded Democratic presidential field.

She said "this is a moment that is really requiring us as a country, as individuals to look in the mirror and to collectively answer a question: Who are we?" She later adding, "This is a moment in time that is requiring us to fight for the best of who we are."

She bemoaned GOP efforts to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, blasted the Republican tax law as a giveaway to the rich and skewered unnamed interests trying to sow "hatred and division" in America. But the former prosecutor invoked the language of the legal profession to "reject the premise" that the U.S. is as divided as it often appears.

"The vast majority of us have so much more in common than what separates us. ... Let's speak that truth," she told party activists who later serenaded her with "Happy Birthday." Harris turned 54 Saturday.

Dawn Kamber