Kamala Harris to Biden at Primary Debate: You Opposed Busing Students Like Me to School

Joe Biden vs. Kamala Harris (Saul Loeb / AFP / Getty)
Saul Loeb / AFP / Getty

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) will now support Joe Biden as his pick for vice presidential nominee, but during a primary debate in February, 2019, she trashed the former vice president for being against the busing movement to racially integrate American schools and for supporting unnamed “segregationist senators.”

“Harris seized her starring moment out of nothing about halfway through Thursday’s debate, validating supporters who believe her debating prowess would be a powerful weapon against President Donald Trump in a general election,” Politico reported after the exchange at the debate.

“As the only black person on this stage, I’d like to speak on the issue of race,” Harris said. She went on:

I do not believe you are a racist. And I agree with you when you commit yourself to the importance of finding common ground. But I also believe, and it’s 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 busing. 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 bused to school every day. And that little girl was me.

Politico noted that after that exchange t-shirts showed up on Harris’s campaign website emblazoned with “That Little Girl Was Me” as a way to raise funds.

Biden hit back by criticizing Harris’s earlier career as California’s Attorney General.

“If we want to have this campaign litigated on who supports civil rights and whether I did or not, I’m happy to do that,” Biden said. “I was a public defender. I did not become a prosecutor.”

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