Sen. Kamala Harris’s (D-CA) national spokesperson said on Thursday evening that Harris even supports “busing for school integration right now.”
When a national politics reporter at New York Times asked Ian Sams, Harris’s national press secretary, if Harris supported busing to integrate schools today, he replied: “Yes.”
— Ian Sams (@IanSams) June 28, 2019
Astead Herndon, the Times’ national politics reporter, said on Friday that Harris’s campaign declined to elaborate further when asked about specifics.
So make of this what you will! pic.twitter.com/geiibA3EWg
— Steadman™ (@AsteadWesley) June 28, 2019
Harris, in need of a moment to revive her floundering campaign, called out former Vice President Joe Biden during Thursday’s debate for his past opposition to school busing, telling the former vice president that she was bused to a school in Northern California. Harris also said that though she did not believe Biden is “racist,” “it was hurtful” to hear him “talk about the reputations of two United States senators who built their reputations and career on segregation of race in this country.”
“And it was not only that, but you also worked with them to oppose bussing,” Harris told Biden in what was the night’s signature moment. “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. We have to take it seriously. We have to act swiftly.”
Biden, on the defensive and unprepared for lines of attack that candidates had telegraphed weeks in advance, claimed he “did not oppose busing in America” despite numerous comments on the record in which he staunchly opposed the practice:
HARRIS: –But, Vice President Biden do you agree today–do you agree today that you were wrong to oppose busing in America then?
HARRIS: Do you agree?
BIDEN: I did not oppose bussing in America. What I opposed is bussing ordered by the Department of Education. That’s what I opposed. I did not oppose–
HARRIS: –Well, there was a failure of–of states to–to integrate–
BIDEN: –No, but–
HARRIS: –Public schools in America. I was part of the second class to integrate, Berkley, California Public Schools almost two decades after Brown v. Board of Education.
BIDEN: Because your city council made that decision. It was a local decision.
HARRIS: So, that’s where the federal government must step in.
BIDEN: The–the federal government must–
HARRIS: –That’s why we have the Voting Rights Act and the Civil Rights Act. That’s why we need to pass the Equality Act. That’s why we need to pass the ERA because there are–
As Breitbart News has noted, though Biden keeps insisting that he never opposed voluntary busing, he told a Delaware newspaper in 1975 that he had always opposed the practice because “it’s an asinine concept.” He even said he thought busing would set the civil rights movement back and the “only recourse to eliminate busing may be a constitutional amendment.” Biden also insisted that “the real problem” with busing is that “you take people who aren’t racist, people who are good citizens, who believe in equal education and opportunity, and you stunt their children’s intellectual growth by busing them to an inferior school . . . and you’re going to fill them with hatred.”