Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardGabbard drops defamation lawsuit against Clinton It’s as if a Trump operative infiltrated the Democratic primary process 125 lawmakers urge Trump administration to support National Guard troops amid pandemic MORE (D-Hawaii) said fellow 2020 Democratic candidate Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisRand Paul introduces bill to end no-knock warrants The Hill’s Campaign Report: Biden campaign goes on offensive against Facebook McEnany says Juneteenth is a very ‘meaningful’ day to Trump MORE’s (D-Calif.) attack on former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenHillicon Valley: Biden calls on Facebook to change political speech rules | Dems demand hearings after Georgia election chaos | Microsoft stops selling facial recognition tech to police Trump finalizing executive order calling on police to use ‘force with compassion’ The Hill’s Campaign Report: Biden campaign goes on offensive against Facebook MORE’s voting record on busing amounted to a “false accusation” that Biden is “a racist.”
Gabbard’s comments come as questions have been raised over whether Harris’s position on federally mandated busing is different from that of Biden, whom Harris called out in the first round of primary debates.
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“But let’s get real. It wasn’t a ‘whole thing’ — it was a false accusation that Joe Biden is a racist,” Gabbard tweeted Monday, in response to a tweet from David AxelrodDavid AxelrodMark Cuban says he’s decided not to run for president The Hill’s Campaign Report: Senate map shows signs of expanding The Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by Facebook – Trump touts reopening as virus fatality forecasts trigger alarm MORE pointing out the apparent contradiction in Harris’s position on busing. Shortly after the debates, Harris in Iowa said she believed busing was a local, as opposed to a federally mandated, decision.
I agree with Axelrod. But let’s get real. It wasn’t a “whole thing” — it was a false accusation that Joe Biden is a racist. https://t.co/KQ8OnhDQ8A
— Tulsi Gabbard (@TulsiGabbard) July 8, 2019
Ian Sams, a spokesperson for Harris, pointed out Gabbard’s accusation is in direct opposition to what Harris said onstage.
“She literally said in the debate: ‘I do not believe you are a racist,’ ” Sams said.
During the debate, Harris addressed Biden’s prior remarks on working with segregationists in the Senate. At the time he had refused to apologize; he since has.
Harris prefaced her comments on Biden’s words by saying, “I do not believe you are a racist and I agree with you when you commit yourself to the importance of finding common ground.”
She went on to call out his record on opposing federally mandated busing.
After the debates, while campaigning in Iowa on July 3 Harris made comments to reporters that suggested her views on busing are more in line with Biden’s.
“I think of busing as being in the toolbox of what is available and what can be used for the goal of desegregating America’s schools,” Harris said.
She later clarified and placed her comments in historical context when speaking to reporters.
“Thankfully, today, it is very rare that we require the courts or federal government to intervene where other governments are opposed to integration. But there are still issues of segregation in our schools today,” she said.
She said she’s in favor of school districts and municipalities doing what they need to aid integration based on race, “but thankfully we don’t see what we saw then.”
“I think it’s very important for us to be clear on history, and frankly I think the vice president has yet to agree that his position on the kind of busing that took place when I was bused to school was wrong,” she said.