Biden Touts Work With Segregationist Lawmakers in Bygone Era of Senate ‘Civility’

on Jun19
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2019-06-19 13:53:05

Former Vice President Joe Biden cited his experience working with two segregationist senators from the South in the 1970s and ’80s while longing for the “civility” the Senate had back then, NBC News reported.

Biden mentioned Sens. James Eastland of Mississippi and Herman Talmadge of Georgia, Democrats who opposed desegregation, during a fundraiser at a New York City hotel Tuesday, saying that, when they served in the Senate together, senators worked together even if they had differing views.

“At least there was some civility. We got things done,” he said. “We didn’t agree on much of anything. We got things done. We got it finished. But today, you look at the other side and you’re the enemy. Not the opposition — the enemy.”

The comment drew quick backlash. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who is also vying for the Democratic presidential nomination, noted on Twitter that “Eastland thought my multiracial family should be illegal,” while fellow 2020 contender Sen. Cory Booker, who is African American, said Biden was wrong to use the senators as as examples of how to bring our country together.”

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The race for the 2020 presidential election is underway, and the field of Democratic candidates is packed. Those who have announced presidential bids include a vice president, senators, House members and three mayors. As for the GOP, a single Republican has announced his bid to challenge President Donald Trump for the party nomination: former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld, who ran for vice president (and lost) in 2016 on the Libertarian party ticket.

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