Joe Biden Apologizes For Comments On Working With Segregationist Senators
Presidential candidate Joe Biden apologized Saturday for comments made about the positive experiences he had working with segregationists during his time as a senator in the 1970’s.
“Was I wrong a few weeks ago to somehow give the impression to folks that I was praising those people who I opposed time and again? Yes I was. I regret it and I’m sorry for any of the pain and misconception it may have caused to anybody,” said Biden in front of a predominantly black audience on Saturday at a campaign event in Sumster, South Carolina.
Biden’s apology comes after comments he made last month, where he seemed to be reminiscing about working with two noted southern segregationist senators, James Eastland and Herman Talmadge. The 2020 White House front runner said, “At least there was some civility, we got things done.” Many Democrats, including other 2020 candidates, called out Biden on multiple occasions for his statement.
“He is right to recognize the impact of his words, and I applaud him for doing that,” said Sen. Kamala Harris (D-California). Harris publicly called Biden out for his comments involving the segregationist senators during June’s primary debates.
Sen. Cory Booker (D-New Jersey) another notable 2020 candidate to critique Biden on his comments shared Harris’ sentiments on the front runner’s apology. “I’m frustrated that it took so long, but I’m grateful for him doing this,” Booker said.
“It’s the first opportunity I’ve had to do it in a fulsome way,” said Biden Sunday on why he decided to apologize now, adding that he “chose an audience that in fact would be the most likely to have been offended by anything that was said.” South Carolina’s black voters account for 60% of the Democratic primary electorate in the state.
Although Biden apologized for his comments, he made sure to note that he feels the incident should not define the years he has spent fighting for racial injustice which includes his service to President Barack Obama’s administration “I was vetted by him and selected by him. I will take his judgment of my record, my character and my ability to handle the job over anyone else’s,” said Biden.