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Biden returns over comments on "nature" of his previous work with racist senators

Joe Biden confronted a growing backlash Wednesday from prominent Democrats – and a little different guessing within his own campaign – over comments, proudly describing his story of working hand in hand with the Senate with armed racists. 19659002] Bids remarks that came on a fundraiser Tuesday night when he said a segregating senator "never called me" boy, "he always called me & # 39; & # 39; & # 39; seemed to highlight a key argument for his presidential candidate: that he is bringing unity to a polarized nation.

Instead, they devoted another controversy to Bids campaign ̵

1; and the sharpest attacks from his rivals on issues of race that are central to his bid and important to black voters are considered a decisive force in the decision on the democratic nomination team .

Sen. Cory Booker (DN.J.) If parents were subjected to racial discrimination when trying to move into a white neighborhood in New Jersey, explicitly stated that Biden had to apologize, Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.) said she was "deeply concerned" about Bid's comments and told reporters in Capitol: "If the men were on their way, I wouldn't be in the US Senate and on this elevator. "

" I'm trying to find out if I'm more concerned or simply disappointed, "Donna Brazile, a long-standing democratic strategist who became the first African American woman to run a presidential campaign when she succeeded Al Gore 2000, said White House bid. "He was to apologize."

The bite on Wednesday night pushed back aggressively toward someone who asked him to reject his comments or apologize.

"They know better," he told reporters as he went to a fundraiser. "Excuse me? Cory was to apologize. He knows better. There is not a racist bone in my body; I have been involved in civil rights throughout my career. Period. Period. Period. "

The outbreak exposes sustained disruption to Bid's message of race as he seeks to take precedence over the historically diverse democratic presidency before the first debates next week, while quoting President Trump's racially divisive rhetoric as inspiration For his candidacy and drawn strong early support from African Americans, Biden, 76, has also struggled to explain his earlier views on important issues in the black community, such as criminal law and school integration. Now his story of collegiality with racists of many in his party as a reason to question his verdict – not as Biden says a sign of his condition.

As apparently coincidental as it was for Biden to refer to Sen. James O. Eastland, a long time ago the deceased segregation senator from his own party, some in Bid's campaign had heard him discuss this relationship before – and warned him not to mention the public GT Eastland, representing Mississippi in the Senate from the early 1940s to 1978, often said that African Americans were "a poorer race."

Aides said they had urged Biden to find a minor toxic example.

"It may move that he chooses another senator," said an advisor and spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss internal considerations. "But he's not someone you can go to and just say," You've been doing this x number of years and you can't do it anymore. ""

Another advisor who expressed confidence that the fall of Biden's remarks could soon suppress, however, worried that Biden might inflame issues if he jokes about what he has been trying to subdue other campaign controversies.

Biden's popularity among African Americans, partly due to his eight-year partnership with the country's first African-American president, has so far been a key feature of the primary, helping Biden gain a broad sense in the midst of a crowded area that includes two prominent African American senators in Harris and Booker.

Several prominent black politicians – including House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn (DS.C.), the highest African American in Congress – came to Biden's defense on Wednesday and said he was unfairly maligned to do so. a broader point about working with those who have views that he disagrees with.

"Look, he's the front runner, he probably didn't say it in the most articulated way," Rep said. Cedric L. Richmond (D-La.), Co-chair of Bid's campaign and former President of Congressional Black Caucus. "But I think the mood is something we all know in the legislative body – that you work with people you do not agree with."

The debate on Bids's comments came in a week when race continued to hover over US politics. Parliament held a hearing Wednesday on slavery repairs, and one day earlier, white nationalists marched outside Trump's re-election assembly. Trump also refused to apologize for his earlier stance that Central Park Five, a group of black teenagers convicted of rape rape by a white woman in New York and later liberated, deserved the death penalty.

Biden and almost all of his democratic rivals are on their way to South Carolina at the weekend for events aimed at winning over the state's big black voters, including an annual fishing trail hosted by Clyburn.

Bid's remarks also remind him of his year's long history of verbal misfires and general lack of oratory discipline, due in part to harming his past runs to the presidency. This story has helped mates control his public appearances in recent weeks, often keeping journalists scared and raising the expectation of how he would perform when he joined his rivals at the Miami debate.

He has focused a lot on his time on fundraisers, and his campaign has enabled journalists to attend events to cover his remarks.

"I was in a caucus with James O. Eastland. He never called me a boy & # 39; he always called me & # 39; son, & # 39; said Biden on Tuesday night Biden also referred to Herman Talmadge, a senator from Georgia who supported segregated schools.

"You go down to the list of all these guys. Well guess what? At least there was some courtesy, "he said." But today you see the other side, and you're the enemy. Not the resistance, the enemy. We are no longer talking to each other. "

His campaign managers said that what Biden meant was partially lost due to how Biden said it.

" He said, at times, in Congress, that one should work with horrible or bad racist people to get things done, "wrote Symone Sanders, senior advisor, on Twitter ." And then went on to say that when you can't work with them, you have to work around them. "

Others pointed to some of Biden's competitors who have worked with Republicans who have views that many Democrats do not agree with. 19659025] "Cory Booker who has worked with Jeff Sessions on many things," said Biden adviser Anita Dunn at MSNBC. Warren tells how she has worked with Chuck Grassley, who led the fight for Brett Kavanaugh and would not even meet with Merrick Garland. "

Wednesday night, Biden mounted an additional defense and quoted his long-standing voting rights law. "I couldn't have disagreed with Jim Eastland more in the sense that he was a segregationist. I ran for the US Senate because I disagreed with the views of the segregationists, many of them in the Senate at that time. "

" "The point I am doing is: You do not have to agree I do not like the people with regard to their views," he added. "But you just do the thing and you beat them. You beat them without changing the system. Many expressions of alarm Wednesday in Bid's comments said that they were not only concerned about his view of the cooperation with those with whom he disagreed, but also his apparent flipping reference to the word "boy" and how it was used by a racist.

"He is trying to make a point of civilization, and he suggests he was civil. But he also suggests that the segregationists are civilians, "says Cornell William Brooks, a former NAACP president." And the example he uses is one where they refuse to call him the polite version of the n-word reserved African American Individuals. "

For the second week in a row – last week it was Bid's comments against federal funding of abortion, a position he turned to – many in the democratic primary field pointed out and personally criticized him.

" Vice President Bid's relationship with proud segregationists is not the model of how we make America a safer and more inclusive place for black people and for everyone, "Booker said in a statement." And honestly, I'm disappointed that he didn't has released an immediate excuse for the pain his words are behind many Americans. He should. "

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Who has often struggled to appeal to black voters, said he agreed with Booker while late Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) Told reporters: "I'm not here to criticize other democrats, but it's never okay to celebrate segregationists. Never. "

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio sent a reply to Twitter, highlighting a picture of him with his wife, who is black and their two children.

" Eastland thought my multiracial family should be illegal whites had Right to "Exercise of Dead Nggers", he wrote .

Several Democrats on Capitol Hill said that Biden simply reflected the way to work in a functioning Senate. Biden also received some support from Republicans who worked with him.

"Let me say this about Joe Biden. He has consistently crossed the hallway to try to find solutions to problems that work with people he disagrees with," said Lindsey O. Graham (RS.C.) .

"He should be proud of it. Don't run away from it," Graham said.

Graham said he had not seen Bid's comments on the segregationist senators. When a reporter read parts of the remarks, Graham replied, "Look, I welcome Joe Biden. I always found him to be a guy who wanted things done."

Scott Clement, Mike DeBonis and Cleve R. Wootson Jr. contributed to this report.

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