President Trump likes to refer to him as “Sleepy Joe,” but former Vice President Joe Biden isn’t lying down or staying quiet when it comes to defending his civil rights record.
Biden has come under fire for acknowledging that he had to work with Mississippi Sen. James Eastland and Georgia Sen. Herman Talmadge, two Democratic segregationists who opposed civil rights legislation, while he was the U.S. Senate.
Two of Biden’s 2020 Democratic presidential opponents, Sens. Cory Booker and Kamala Harris, took the opportunity to play to the Black community and have openly criticized Biden for making the remark, but Biden shrugged off the criticism, saying that he had to tolerate these two individuals while in the congress.
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According to Booker, “you don’t joke about calling black men ‘boys,” and asked Biden to apologize.
Biden responded,” apologize for what?”
“He knows better,” said Biden “There’s not a racist bone in my body. I’ve been involved in civil rights my whole career. Period.”
“Here’s the deal: I could not have disagreed with Jim Eastland more. He was a segregationist. I ran for the United States Senate because I disagreed with the views of the segregationists,” Biden said. “The point I’m making is, you don’t have to agree. You don’t have to like the people, in terms of their views. But you just simply make the case, and you beat them.”
Now more and more Democrats are coming to Biden’s defense, including Georgia Congressman John Lewis (D), who stated that Biden’s comments about working with the two now-deceased senators as being “offensive.”
“During the height of the civil rights movement we worked with people and got to know people that were members of the Klan, people who opposed us, even people who beat us, arrested us and jailed us,” Lewis said. “We never gave up on our fellow human beings, and I will not give up on any human being.”