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Jill Biden Enters the Fray to Defend Her Husband

Public 'didn't buy it,' she says of Kamala Harris' attack on her husband's race record
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 9, 2019 11:21 AM CDT
Updated Jul 9, 2019 11:43 AM CDT
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., speaks during the National Education Association Strong Public Schools Presidential Forum Friday in Houston.   (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
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(Newser) – Kamala Harris is keeping up her critique of Joe Biden's record on race and segregation following the Democratic frontrunner's apology for comments about the civility of segregationist senators. He was "right to recognize the impact of his words" but "there is still a point of disagreement between he and I ... which is the issue of busing," Harris said on the campaign trail in South Carolina, reports Fox News. The reference is to Biden's early-career opposition to federally mandated desegregation busing, which she raised during the Democratic debate. Now Biden has a new defender of his record: His wife, Jill, in a CNN interview. Though Harris said she didn't believe Biden to be racist, her debate attack implied that he was, says Jill Biden. And "the one thing you cannot say about Joe is that he's a racist."

"He got into politics because of his commitment to civil rights. And then to be elected with Barack Obama, and then someone is saying, you know, you're a racist?" Voters "didn't buy it," says the former VP's wife. The candidate himself says "we can go back and pick everybody's record apart … and take it out of context, because no one knows the context of the moment." Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, meanwhile, is calling out Harris more directly. "This is just a political ploy … to try get herself attention," the 2020 candidate tells CBS News. Gabbard also called it "underhanded" and said that Harris' own position on busing today is "the same one she was criticizing Joe Biden for." Per CNN, Harris thinks busing to desegregate schools should be considered but not mandated, though her camp argues it's very different to hold this position now than in the past. (Read more Joe Biden stories.)

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