Biden Apologizes for the ‘Pain’ and ‘Misconception’ of Segregationist Comments

Henrietta Strickland
July 10, 2019

Kamala Harris and Cory Booker (D-N.J.) seized the opportunity to hit Biden.

In May, Biden, 76, promised not to attack his rivals, saying: 'I will not speak ill of any of the Democratic candidates, I will not do it'. "Should that misstep define 50 years of my record for fighting for civil rights, racial justice in this country?" In recent weeks, however, that lead has steadily tightened as more progressive-minded opponents have attacked him for being insensitive on issues like race relations - attacks which reached a fever pitch when he reminisced about his rookie days in the United States Senate, when he worked closely with two Democratic segregationists to get bills passed. Biden defended his record on racial issues and reminded voters of his ties to former President Barack Obama, whose popularity in SC remains high.

The former vice-president, 76, was attacked by other Democratic candidates including Harris and the New Jersey senator Cory Booker, who are African American, after he discussed working with "civility" with two racist Democrats, James Eastland of MS and Herman E Talmadge of Georgia.

Harris's campaign said that in the first 24 hours following the first Democratic presidential debate, she raised more than $2 million online, and an additional $1.2 million online last weekend.

Announcing her plan, Harris said: "By taking these challenges on, we can close that gap". Biden will have to improve his performance to stay in the race, she said. "So when she talked about being bussed, it was powerful for me and I'm sure it's powerful for a lot of people here who have experiences of their own".

However, Biden still maintained that a moderate Democrat will stand a better chance of beating President Trump in the general election.

"He is a presidential nominee, and to say something - and again, it's not about working across the aisle, if anything I've made that a hallmark of my time in the Senate, to get big things done and legislation passed - this is about him invoking a awful power dynamic that he showed a lack of understanding or insensitivity to by invoking this idea that he was called "son" by white segregationists who, yeah, they see in him their son", Booker said.

Since Harris confronted Biden over his comments about his decades-old relationship with segregationist senators and his record on past public school busing, her campaign has sought to capitalize on the moment.

Harris muddled the debate over busing during a recent campaign swing in Iowa, appearing to tell reporters she now opposes federally mandated busing to address school segregation.

"He is right to recognize the impact of his words, and I applaud him for doing that and having the courage to do it", she told reporters in SC.

Senator James Eastland of MS "never called me boy, he always called me son", Biden told donors at a NY fundraiser, adopting a heavy southern drawl.

"I think it resonates with younger voters who get all their news off Twitter or Facebook". "Those are Biden's guys, his men and women".

Biden drew support from some black leaders as well as Republican Sen. They don't want a promise of what's to come in the future. "He's the bully that I knew my whole life".

"There's still mandatory busing that exists today", Harris said. I don't think he's a racist, personally.

'I get all this information about other people's past and what they've done and not done.

As to why he should be president, Biden noted that while serving under former President Barack Obama he faced severe scrutiny during the vetting process. "He won't get caught flat-footed again", said Dan Callahan, chairman of the Buchanan County Democratic Party.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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