Sen. Kamala Harris (D., Calif.) told former Vice President Joe Biden she doesn’t think he’s a racist, but was personally offended by him commenting on his close relationship with segregationists.
Harris immediately asked to have a chance to speak when the issue of race came up and used the opportunity to take aim at Biden.
“I’m going to now direct this at Vice President Biden,” Harris said. “I do not believe you are a racist.”
“It was hurtful to hear you talk about the reputations of two United States senators who build their reputations on the segregation of race in this country,” she said. “You also worked with them to oppose bussing.”
Harris then said she was one of the students bussed to an integrated public school in California and say there shouldn’t be a debate on the issue.
Biden responded by saying his positions were mischaracterized by Harris “across the board,” and say his record on civil rights surpasses anyone on the stage. He then shot back at Harris by pointing to her choice to become a prosecutor.
“I was a public defender, I didn’t become a prosecutor,” he said, inducing gasps from some in the crowd.
Harris responded by asking Biden whether he believes today that he was wrong to oppose bussing, and he attempted to clarify his position.
“I did not oppose bussing in America, what I opposed was bussing ordered by the Department of Education,” Biden said.