- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 20, 2019

At a fundraiser Wednesday evening, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden again invoked his experience working with segregationist senators, as he’s taking incoming fire from his 2020 presidential rivals for talking up his past work with them.

At an event in suburban Maryland, Mr. Biden spoke about the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, who he credited for getting him onto the Judiciary Committee.

“And we had to put up with the likes of like Jim Eastland and [Herman] Talmadge and all those segregationists and all of that,” he said, according to a pool report of the event. “And the fact of the matter is that we were able to do it because we were able to win — we were able to beat them on everything they stood for.”

“We in fact detested what they stood for in terms of segregation and all the rest,” he said.

The explicit denunciation of Eastland and Talmadge came as Mr. Biden is getting heated criticism for talking about them earlier this week as an example of past “civility” in politics and working with people with whom you might disagree.

At an event on Tuesday, he also mimicked Eastland’s Southern drawl and said, “he never called me boy, he always called me son.”

Sen. Cory A. Booker of New Jersey has called for Mr. Biden to apologize, saying it’s not acceptable to joke about calling black men “boys.”

Mr. Biden said an apology is not forthcoming.

“Apologize for what? Cory should apologize — he knows better,” he told reporters Wednesday evening. “There’s not a racist bone in my body — I’ve been involved in civil rights my whole career — period. Period. Period.”

At the fundraising event Wednesday, Mr. Biden also touted his work on extending the Voting Rights Act.

“We can turn all this around,” he said. “If Teddy were here, in the United States Senate, what he’d be talking about is equity, honesty, the way in which we deal with people, treating everyone the same way.”

“It’s about dignity — dignity, dignity, dignity,” Mr. Biden said later. “People are entitled to be treated with dignity.”

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