Jill Biden defended her husband against Democratic California Sen. Kamala Harris’s attacks in a CNN interview that aired Monday.
Harris attacked former Vice President Joe Biden in the first Democratic presidential debate for opposing federally mandated desegregation busing and for his comments about working with segregationist senators in the 1970s.
Biden’s wife cited former President Barack Obama in defending her husband.
“I think that they were looking at the past. I mean, the one thing you cannot say about Joe is that he’s a racist. I mean, 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?” Jill Biden told CNN host Chris Cuomo.
“The American people know Joe Biden. They know his values. They know what he stands for. And they didn’t buy it,” she added, referring to Harris’s attack.
Both Harris and Biden have walked back their positions since the debate.
Harris backtracked on the busing issue a week after the debate, indicating that school districts — rather than the federal government — should decide whether to implement busing for racial balancing purposes.
Biden apologized over the weekend for his comments about working with segregationists.
“Was I wrong a few weeks ago to somehow give the impression to people that I was praising those men who I successfully opposed time and again? Yes, I was. I regret it,” Biden said in South Carolina on Saturday. “I’m sorry for the pain and misconception I may have caused anybody.”
Biden said he chose South Carolina for the site of his apology because its residents were “most likely to have been offended” by his comments.
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