Kamala Harris Calls Out Joe Biden
"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 everyday. And that little girl was me."
Sen. Kamala Harris and Former Vice President Joe Biden Clash
U.S. Senator Kamala Harris was asked the next morning after the 1st first 2020 Democratic Debate whether she went too low by challenging Joe Biden over his civil rights record and past working relationships with segregationist senators. Biden, at a campaign event earlier, had cited his ability to get things done even with segregationist senators as examples of the type of “civility” in Congress that has since vanished. Numerous Democratic presidential candidates took Biden to task for the remarks, though some, including civil rights icon John Lewis, defended the 2020 frontrunner’s remarks.
Harris also blamed Biden of opposing busing, which Biden disputed. “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,” Harris said. “I will tell you that on this subject, it cannot be an intellectual debate among Democrats. We have to take it seriously. We have to act swiftly.” Harris’ official Twitter account quickly followed up, posting a photo of the candidate as a child.
Harris followed up after Biden defended himself. “Do you agree today that you were wrong to oppose busing in America?” Biden retorted, “I did not oppose busing in America,” Biden responded as his voice grew noticeably louder. “What I opposed is busing ordered by the Department of Education. I have supported the Equal Rights Amendment from the beginning,” Biden said. I’m the guy that extended the Voting Rights Act for 25 years, we got to the place where we got 98 out of 98 votes in the United States senate doing it. I’ve also argued very strongly that we in fact deal with the notion of denying people access to the ballot box.” Biden then stopped himself. “Anyway, my time’s up,” he said, referring to time constraints under the debate rules.
Asked whether Biden's civil rights record "effectively disqualifies" him from becoming president, Harris answered, "No, I think the voters will decide."