Sen. Kamala Harris of California blasted former Vice President Joe Biden during Thursday’s Democratic presidential debate for what she considered to be a lackluster record on race relations during his tenure in the Senate.
In fact, Harris threw everything but the kitchen sink at Biden on Thursday night, stopping just short of outright referring to the former vice president a “racist.”
The attacks came after last week’s controversy over remarks from Biden over a proud history of showing “civility” to political opponents — including two segregationist Senate Democrats in the 1970s.
“I will direct this at Vice President Biden,” Harris said, as the Washington Examiner reported. “I do not believe you are a racist and I agree with you when you commit yourself to the importance of finding common ground.
“But I also believe and it’s personal and it was hurtful to hear you talk about the reputations of two United States senator who is built their reputations and career on the segregation of race in this country,” she added.
Harris berated Biden for his opposition to efforts to desegregate U.S. schools by busing African-American children to school in largely white communities, among other things — a policy that directly affected Harris’ childhood.
“You also worked with them to oppose busing,” Harris said. “There was a little girl in California who was part of the second class to integrate her public schools and she was bused to school every day.”
“And that little girl was me,” she told Biden.
Apparently taken aback, the former vice president defended himself by going on the offensive against Harris — attacking her career as a prosecutor and suggesting that he did more for marginalized black Americans by giving up a “good firm” to become a “public defender” in Wilmington, Delaware.
“I was a public defender. I didn’t become a prosecutor. I left a good law firm to become a public defender. When, in fact, my city was in flames because of the assassination of Dr. King,” Biden said.
He then cited his role in the Obama administration, dealing with race issues in a “major, major way.”
But the damage might have been done. The exchange made it clear the issue is likely to be dogging Biden’s campaign throughout the primary contest.
Even conservative political commentators granted Harris the victory, saying that Biden looked deeply upset after the exchange despite some believing that Harris’ claims were unfounded.
Kamala Harris calls out Biden as “hurtful” for talking about working with segregationist Senators. Gets emotional talking about racism. #DemDebate2
— Liz Wheeler (@Liz_Wheeler) June 28, 2019
Harris is killing Biden right now but this whole issue is phony and contrived and she knows it. She’s smearing Biden as a racist completely without basis. She’s an extremely dishonest person. Just so we’re all on the same page. #DemDebate2
— Matt Walsh (@MattWalshBlog) June 28, 2019
Kamala Harris blasts Joe Biden for praising racist Democrat segregationist Senators
Biden looks like he is about to cry
The crowd erupts in cheers pic.twitter.com/Exhn4xciAD
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) June 28, 2019
“Kamala Harris blasts Joe Biden for praising racist Democrat segregationist Senators,” Daily Wire writer Ryan Saavedra posted on Twitter. “Biden looks like he is about to cry.”
Harris is killing Biden right now but this whole issue is phony and contrived and she knows it. She’s smearing Biden as a racist completely without basis,” fellow Daily Wire writer Matt Walsh added.
“She’s an extremely dishonest person. Just so we’re on the same page.”
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