The apparent breakout star at the Democratic Party presidential debate on Thursday night was California Senator Kamala Harris, who seized the spotlight when she thrust former Vice President Joe Biden into a heated exchange over his praise of two white segregationists as examples in political civility. Appearing on “CBS This Morning” on Friday, host Gayle King asked if she delivered a “low blow.”
“You’re accused of delivering a low blow last night. What do you say to that?” King said to Kamala Harris on the show, as reported by Fox News.
Harris said she was simply about “speaking the truth” and signaled her respect for Joe Biden’s service to the country as both a U.S. Senator and Vice President.
“As I’ve said many times, I have a great deal of respect for Joe Biden. He’s served our country for many years in a noble way. But he and I disagree on that. It is a debate. This is a campaign where we should be discussing issues and there will be contrasts,” Harris told King. “If segregationists had their way, I would not be a member of the United States Senate today, I would not be a top contender to be president of the United States.”
Last week, the former vice president spoke at a fundraiser where he held up two southern segregationists (both Democrats) he previously worked with in his early career as examples of political civility.
“I was in a caucus with James O. Eastland,” Biden said, reportedly in a southern accent. “He never called me boy, he always called me son.”
Sen. James O. Eastland (D-MS) fervently opposed civil rights and has been referred to as the “Voice of the White South.” Biden also held up Sen. Herman Talmadge (D-GA) as another example of political civility, whom he described as being “one of the meanest guys I ever knew.”
“Well guess what? At least there was some civility,” he said of Talmadge. “We got things done. We didn’t agree on much of anything. We got things done. We got it finished. But today you look at the other side and you’re the enemy. Not the opposition, the enemy. We don’t talk to each other anymore.”
Biden refused to apologize for his comments despite massive blowback from leftists such as Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA). Though the former vice president largely weathered the storm in his poll numbers, the issue reared its head once again on the debate stage Thursday when Kamala Harris made it personal.
“It was hurtful to hear you talk about the reputations of two United States senators who built their reputations and career on the segregation of race in this country. And it was not only that, but you also worked with them to oppose bussing,” Kamala Harris told Biden to his face. “And, you know, there was a little girl in California who was part of the second class to integrate her public schools, and she was bussed to school every day. And that little girl was me.”
“So I will tell you that, on this subject, it cannot be an intellectual debate among Democrats,” she continued. “We have to take it seriously. We have to act swiftly. As attorney general of California, I was very proud to put in place a requirement that all my special agents would wear body cameras and keep those cameras on.”