Sen. Kamala Harris directly confronted Joe Biden over his civil rights record during Thursday night’s Democratic presidential debate, highlighting the former vice president’s opposition to school busing as a senator in the 1970s and his fond recollection of the “civility” of notorious segregationists.
After saying it was “hurtful” to hear Biden offer kind words earlier this month about two senators who “built their reputations and career on the segregation of race in this country”—James O. Eastland and Herman Talmadge—Harris invoked “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,” Harris said.
“So I will tell you that, on this subject, it cannot be an intellectual debate among Democrats,” added the senator from California. “We have to take it seriously. We have to act swiftly.”
Watch the full exchange:
Biden responded by accusing Harris of mischaracterizing his record, claiming he “did not oppose busing in America.”
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