Biden faces criticism over civil relations with segregationist senators


At issue is Biden's comments standing up for the racist senators by arguing that there was at least "civility" when working with them.

Biden is one of almost two dozen Democrats seeking the presidential nomination, for the chance to take on Donald Trump in the general election. He's not affiliated with any of the campaigns. He basically said sometimes in Congress, one has to work with bad or down right racist folks to get things done.

"Since your support was essential to having our bill reported out by the Judiciary Committee, I want to personally ask your continued support and alert you to our intentions", Biden wrote on Aug 22, 1978.

The fallout from his comments have dominated the political conversation nationally this week, including presidential rival New Jersey Sen.

During that speech, he also imitated Eastland's accent and spoke warmly of his friendship with late Senator Strom Thurmond, whom he considered a "changed" man at the time of his death. James Eastland, an avowed segregationist, had "never called me boy, he always called me son".

But speaking out against Biden "was not a political calculation", a campaign aide told CNN. What do you think?

"There would possibly be not a racist bone in my physique; I have been alive to in civil rights my complete occupation. I just think they have to address it as it comes up and move on".

SHAPIRO: Well, two of Biden's rivals for the nomination have been vocal about this. Cory Booker (D-NJ) is one of the only other CBC members to criticize Biden publicly and demand he apologize. Of Democrats between 18 and 29 years of age, 55 percent said they'd favor a candidate in his or her 30s or 40s.

A fish fry in SC on Friday drew the largest crowd of Democratic presidential candidates yet and gave them a chance to gauge support among black voters, who will be a crucial voting bloc in the early primary state next year.

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When Joe Biden entered the race a few months ago, he looked like an unquestioned frontrunner here - far outpacing the rest of the Democratic field with his long-burnished reputation in SC. Biden is low energy, doesn't have the charisma of Obama, and is already a two-time presidential loser. "At a time when we have from the highest offices in the land, a divisiveness, a racial hatred and bigotry being spewed, he should have the sensitivity to know that, 'This is a time I need to be an ally and I need to be a healer". "You don't joke about calling black men 'boys.' Men like James O. Eastland used words like that, and the racist policies that accompanied them, to perpetuate white supremacy and strip black Americans of our very humanity", Booker said.

SIMMONS: I'll tell you this.

A year earlier, Biden had made another cringe-inducing remark during a speech in Columbia, S.C. In a strained attempt to establish commonality, he remarked that DE had also been a "slave state". That is probably - Biden asking for that was maybe even as offensive as the earlier statement. "They never look at Hillary Clinton's e-mail deletions", Trump said in an interview last week with "Fox & Friends". That's where this coming from.

But Biden declined to apologize, saying that Sen. It certainly should commit to not using those examples going forward.

His reception in the state that's home to the first Southern primary will set the tone for an even bigger stage next week, when 20 White House hopefuls - including Biden - gather in Miami for the first debate of the primary.

The multilateral agreement was negotiated by the former administration of President Barack Obama while Biden was vice president. And it just means that on issues of race, on issues of LGBTQ rights, on issues of gender equity - and he hasn't yet shown he's really able to surf those crosscurrents. "We got it finished", Biden said.

The senior South Carolina Democrat in Congress, House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, made that point in Biden's defense this week. Explain why that might be.

"I worked with Strom Thurmond all my life", the SC congressman said. Traditional Democrats will be for whoever the Democratic nominee is. They were, of course, both Democrats.

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