Sen. Kamala Harris Friday rejected complaints that she dealt former Vice President Joe Biden a “low blow” in Thursday night’s Democratic debate when she pushed him on his past stance on busing and on his record in working with Democrats who endorsed segregation in the 1970s.
“It was about just speaking truth and as I’ve said many times, I have a great deal of respect for Joe Biden,” the California Democrat told “CBS This Morning” Friday. “He and I disagree on that. My purpose was to really just make sure that in this conversation we are appreciating the impact on real people of policies that have been pushed in the history of our country.”
Thursday, CBS News political consultant Ed O’Keefe tweeted that an unidentified senior Biden aide called Harris’ comments a “low blow,” and said it’s “hard to imply someone is racist when they were the VP to the first black president.”
Harris pushed moderators to give her time to answer a question on race, pointing out that she was the only African-American candidate on the stage. She complained that he’d worked with segregationists to oppose busing.
“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,” Harris told Biden. “That little girl was me.”
“That’s a mischaracterization of my position across the board,” Biden responded.
Harris, also appearing on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” said she would not say Biden is racially insensitive, but they do have a difference of opinion on race and also on states’ rights.
She added that she finds Biden’s “nostalgia” about working with segregationists “hurtful.”
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