Published: Sun, July 07, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

South Carolina Focus for Sparring 2020 Rivals Biden, Harris

South Carolina Focus for Sparring 2020 Rivals Biden, Harris

"As I've said many times", tweeted Intercept columnist Shaun King, "every time Joe Biden opens his mouth he gets himself in trouble".

During the debate, Harris discussed her own experience with being bused in the 1970s as an elementary school student growing up in Berkeley, Calif.

"I'll take his judgment about my character and about my ability to do the job over anyone else's", Biden said. "We don't talk to each other anymore", he said. "And that's a good thing", Biden said, according to a transcript circulated by his campaign ahead of his speech. "And I'm sorry for any of the pain or misconception they may have caused anybody", Biden said during a speech in SC.

Mr Biden's comments came as he and rival presidential candidate Kamala Harris were set to circle each other while campaigning on Sunday in SC, the first Southern state to vote in next year's primary and a crucial proving ground for candidates seeking support of black Democrats.

Though South Carolina's primary is more than seven months away, Biden and Harris appear destined for a showdown here.

But Biden, who entered the race as a frontrunner with a double-digit lead in polls over others, raised more money per-day than anyone because his $21.5 million collection came in just 66 days since he launched his campaign on April 26, compared to Buttigieg's, and all others, 90 days, the full quarter.

Harris' campaign took flight at the debate when she sparred with Biden over his past opposition to mandatory busing to integrate schools and his past work in the Senate with segregationists.

Biden told CNN in an exclusive interview that aired Friday that his stance on busing was taken out of context and that he wasn't expecting Harris to attack him the way she did. "I've witnessed an incredible amount of change in this nation and I've worked to make that change happen".

Harris was in New Orleans at the Essence festival, where she was among several 2020 White House candidates at the largest annual gathering of black women.

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The confrontation between Biden and Harris defined the second night of the first primary debates, which spanned two consecutive nights to make room for the top 20 candidates in the Democratic primary field.

"He is a presidential nominee, and to say something - and again, it's not about working across the aisle, if anything I've made that a hallmark of my time in the Senate, to get big things done and legislation passed - this is about him invoking a bad power dynamic that he showed a lack of understanding or insensitivity to by invoking this idea that he was called "son" by white segregationists who, yeah, they see in him their son", Booker said.

"I think it resonates with younger voters who get all their news off Twitter or Facebook".

"She can't build herself exclusively on tearing Joe Biden down", Harpootlian said.

"We can not be a nation that is truly free until everyone is free", said Booker, who is African-American. They filed joint taxes and reported about $1.2 million in adjusted gross income that year. Harris, Cory Booker, D-N.J. "I called for an apology early on".

"Apologize for what?" Biden said at the time. "Those are Biden's guys, his men and women". I don't think he's a racist, personally.

Biden continued: "They don't want to talk much about my time as vice president". I think it is something we should have.

Asked by CNN why he did not push back against the criticisms as aggressively as he is now, Biden said, "What I didn't want to do was get into that scrum".

Black voters have played a critical role in the Democratic primary process, and winning the party's nomination would be unlikely without their support.

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