Kamala Harris’ infamous busing ambush of Joe Biden during the first Democratic primary debate in 2019 was met with vulgar responses from both the future president and first lady, according to a new book that details the icy early exchanges between Biden and his eventual running mate.
Harris, looking to solidify a spot at the head of the massive Democratic pack, attacked Biden’s record for not supporting federally mandated busing before dramatically revealing that she was bused to school as a little girl. While Harris began by saying “I do not believe you are a racist,” her jab was meant to solidify an image of Biden as someone who’d cordially dealt with pro-segregationist lawmakers in the past and was out of touch with the current cultural shift.
The hit seemed to catch Biden off guard.
“Well, that was some [expletive],” Biden said to competitor Pete Buttigieg onstage during a commercial break, according to a Politico excerpt of Edward-Isaac Dovere’s book “Battle for the Soul: Inside the Democrats’ Campaigns to Defeat Trump.”
Jill Biden had an even more personal response to Harris’ debate line:
“[Jill Biden] couldn’t bear to watch a woman who called herself a friend of her son’s — although Beau was not her biological child, she’d raised him his entire life as if he were — try to tear her husband down, to score a point at a debate.
“‘With what he cares about, what he fights for, what he’s committed to, you get up there and call him a racist without basis?” she said on a phone call with close supporters a week later, according to multiple people on the call. ‘Go [expletive] yourself.'”
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