Biden draws ire in recalling 'civility' with segregationists

Saul Bowman
June 20, 2019

During a fundraising event in NY, the Democratic presidential candidate recounted being a member of the Senate in the 1970s with southern Democrats who opposed civil rights and desegregation. The latest Quinnipiac University poll released on Tuesday showed Biden leading Trump in Florida by 9 percentage points. Biden described Talmadge as "one of the meanest guys I ever knew" and said Eastland called him "son", though not "boy", a reference to the racist way many whites addressed black men at the time.

"I'm just going to venture a guess and say that his whiteness is the reason why a white supremacist in the Senate thought Joe Biden, despite their policy differences, just might be an okay guy", Smith tweeted.

Speaking at a NY fund-raiser on Tuesday, the former vice-president and frontrunner for the Democratic nomination told donors that fixing America's "broken" political system would require working across the political aisle to reach consensus with lawmakers with opposing positions, even unrepentant bigots.

And he bragged: "At least there was some civility".

"Vice-president Biden's relationships with proud segregationists are not the model for how we make America a safer and more inclusive place for black people, and for everyone", he said. We didn't agree on much of anything. "The fact of the matter is, if we can't get a consensus, nothing happens except the abuse of power by the executive branch". We got it finished. He sometimes notes he will "get in trouble" before making his standard pitch that the "other side" is "the opposition" but not "the enemy". "We have all the money we need to do it", he said. Catsimatidis said he "just smiled" when Biden made his campaign pitch.

"I know the new "New Left" tells me that I'm - this is old-fashioned", he added.

In Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Florida and MI - states where Trump beat Clinton by narrow margins in 2016 - the president trails Democratic contender Joe Biden by double-digits, NBC News reported, citing the campaign's internal numbers.

Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden speaks to guests during a campaign stop at Clinton Community College on June 12, 2019 in Clinton, Iowa. This includes 7% of Republicans and 54% of independents in Florida who said they would support Biden against Trump.

"And frankly, I'm disappointed that he hasn't issued an immediate apology for the pain his words are dredging up for many Americans".

Booker also criticized Biden for his use of the word "boy" - a term that was frequently used by racists to demean black men.

Biden's campaign did not immediately return FOX Business' request for comment. "It's past time for apologies or evolution from [Biden]".

Biden's comments were criticized by some political observers on Wednesday.

"The idea that unapologetic bigotry and White ethnocentrism can be defeated by congeniality or lukewarm messages of tolerance is not only frightening in terms of naiveté, it's a risky misrepresentation of who the Democratic Party has been for decades: both a safe haven for liberal racism and a mirror into the soul of the unsafe "white moderate" that refuses to be uncomfortable enough to recognize this country's ills", Lemieux wrote.

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