Biden Refuses To Apologize After Sharing Anecdote Aides Told Him To Change

Keynote speaker former Vice President Joe Biden pauses during his speech during the UNLV William S. Boyd School of Law 20th Anniversary Gala at the Bellagio Casino in Las Vegas, Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018. The annual event serves as the school’s principal scholarship fundraiser. (AP Photo / Las Vegas Sun, Yasmina Chavez)
Yasmina Chavez/Las Vegas Sun

Former Vice President Joe Biden has been fending off intense criticism from his Democratic opponents after his comments about “civility” with segregationists, now refusing to apologize and insisting that his colleagues “know better.”

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) has been particularly pointed in his rebuke, demanding that Biden, a man he knows to be “better than this,” apologize.

Biden shot back at Booker specifically on Wednesday, speaking briefly to a gaggle of reporters.

“Apologize for what? Cory should apologize,” he said. “He knows better. There’s not a racist bone in my body; I’ve been involved in civil rights my whole career. Period. Period. Period.”

Booker responded Wednesday night on CNN.

“The fact that he has said something that an African American man could find very offensive and then to turn around and say, you know, ‘I’m not a racist, you should apologize to me’ is so insulting and so missing the larger point that he should not have to have explained to him,” Booker said. “He knows better. I know Joe Biden. He’s better than this.”

Biden made his original comments during a fundraiser Tuesday night, where he invoked his relationships with the late Sens. James Eastland (D-MS) and Herman Talmadge (D-GA), virulent segregationists, to demonstrate his ability to cross the aisle and work with people he doesn’t agree with.

His aides reportedly tried to circumvent the whole mess, urging Biden to choose a less politically charged example of bipartisanship — to no avail.

One of them, senior adviser Symone Sanders, took to Twitter to defend her boss.

Biden has been consistently leading in the early polls, not least because of strong support from black voters.

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