Now Joe Biden Regrets His Segregationist Remarks

Election 2020 Kamala Harris

"When it comes time to pull the level and for people to actually vote in this presidential election, they're going to make their decisions based not just on who we're associated with, but they're going to make their decisions based on the work we've done and, most importantly, our plans for the future of America", she said.

Biden asked a mostly black audience of several hundred people in Sumter on Saturday, the first day of a weekend visit to SC.

He pointed to what he called repeated missteps, including Biden's comments on segregationists and the former vice president's recent reversal on the Hyde Amendment, a long-standing congressional ban on using federal health care money to pay for abortions.

Biden opposed busing more than four decades ago as a battle raged across the country - and in Congress - over sending white students to majority-black schools and black students to majority-white schools often far away from their own neighborhoods.

During his weekend in the state, Biden defended his record on racial issues and reminded voters of his ties to former President Barack Obama, whose popularity in SC remains high.

Asked in Iowa whether she would support federally mandated busing in 2019 to combat de facto segregation that remains in some USA school systems, Harris replied, "I think of busing as being in the toolbox of what is available and what can be used for the goal of desegregating America's schools". Biden told CNN's Chris Cuomo. Biden said he was vetted and selected by Obama as running mate in 2008, and "I will take his judgment of my record, my character, and my ability to handle the job over anyone else's".

Biden also is highlighting his eight years as Obama's vice president, from 2009 to 2017.

Biden pushed back against some of Harris' specific criticisms, including her argument that he once opposed busing, a measure meant to alleviate racial segregation.

Her campaign disputed the notion that she was backtracking from the position she took during the debate, arguing that she supported busing in the 1970s - when Biden opposed it - but believes conditions now make it an issue to be decided by local school districts.

The controversy erupted in mid-June after Biden recalled his Senate interactions with two prominent advocates of segregation, triggering criticism from two black rivals for the presidency, Kamala Harris and Cory Booker.

"America in 2019 is a very different place than the America of the 1970s", Biden said, according to prepared remarks.

'But we all know that 30 seconds to 60 seconds on a campaign debate exchange can't do justice to a lifetime commitment to civil rights'.

At the same time, lingering questions from the debate, and from the early part of her campaign, have followed Harris through the state in recent days.

Biden also addressed an issue that put him at odds with Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren in 2005, when she was a consumer advocate and Harvard Law School professor - a bill that made it harder for individuals to file for bankruptcy and get out of debt. "That is one of my highest priorities, and we have got to deal with that".

"The point I'm making is you don't have to agree".

"That resonated with a lot of African Americans", he said.

"I was impressed by her debate performance, she certainly could stand up to Trump - she's forceful, but she stays calm".

For Willis, it may just be that Biden's political time has passed.

The pressures of the presidency are unique in American politics, and it's almost impossible for candidates, regardless of their party, to amass comparable experience as senator, governor or in other positions.

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