CLUELESS JOE

Joe Biden just inflicted more pain on his candidacy by trying to undo the debate damage

He did it again.
He did it again.
Image: Reuters/Kamil Krzaczynski
By
We may earn a commission from links on this page.

Joe Biden defended his record on civil rights during a speech in Chicago today—and may have further damaged his bid for the Democratic presidential nomination instead.

Speaking at the Rainbow Push Coalition, a group of nonprofits organized by Jesse Jackson, Biden spoke about the importance of the labor movement, Martin Luther King Jr.’s support for unions, and pledged to undo the Donald Trump-backed tax bill that cut taxes for the wealthy and corporations. (The entire speech is on CSPAN).

Then he spoke about the differences in values of homes in black neighborhoods and white ones, before speaking to the diverse,  social-justice-minded audience about the importance of recognizing that teenagers in hooded sweatshirts were not all violent criminals.

“We need to make sure that black mothers feel confident when they send their son out on the street that they will be safe,” Biden said. “We’ve got to recognize that kid wearing a hoodie may very well be a poet laureate, and not a gang banger.”

Biden was confronted by California senator Kamala Harris during last night’s Democratic debate in Miami about his lack of support for desegregation of US schools the 1970s

“I do not believe you are a racist,” Harris said to Biden before telling him that she felt hurt by his wistful reminiscing about his 1970s friendships with two senators who “built their reputations and careers on segregation and race,” referring to Biden’s recent remarks about working with James Eastland of Mississippi and Herman Talmadge of Georgia.

“You also worked with them to oppose busing,” Harris said. “You know there was a little girl in California who was part of the second class to integrate public schools, and she was bused to school every day. And that little girl was me. So, it cannot be an intellectual debate among Democrats. We have to take it seriously and we have to act swiftly.”

His comments today are likely to increase concerns that a man elected as a US senator from Delaware at age 29 in 1972 is out of touch with Democrats today.