Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris said Sunday that her attacks on Joe Biden during the 2020 primary race are a “distraction from what we need to accomplish.”
“I want Joe Biden to be the next president of the United States,” the California senator said in an exclusive interview with ABC News. “I believe in Joe Biden, I believe in his perspective, and frankly I think that that conversation is a distraction from what we need to accomplish right now and what we need to do.”
Her comments refer to her attacks on the former vice president during the Democratic presidential debates when the Harris told Biden that it was “hurtful” to her to hear his opposition to busing and to see him working with segregationist senators, according to ABC.
“You know, there was a little girl in California who was part of the second class to integrate her public schools, and she was bussed to school every day,” Harris said during the debate. “And that little girl was me.”
Harris also attacked Biden for his flip-flop on the Hyde Amendment, which bans the use of federal fundings for abortion. (RELATED: ‘Most Pro-Abortion Presidential Ticket In American History’: Pro-Life Groups Condemn Biden VP Kamala Harris)
“You made a decision for years to withhold resources to poor women to have access to reproductive health care, including women who were the victims of rape and incest,” Harris told Biden during the July 2019 debate. “Do you now say that you have evolved and you regret that?”
“Why did it take you so long to change your position on the Hyde Amendment?” she added. “Why did it take so long until you were running for president to change your position on the Hyde Amendment?”
“World News Tonight” anchor David Muir pressed Harris on how Biden and Harris have moved past these attacks.
“I think the American people want to know that these aren’t debate moments, these aren’t political points, that when you say they were hurtful and personal, you mean that,” Muir asked. “I’m curious what the vice president has said to you since then that made you think, ‘OK. I’m OK with this. I can join this ticket'”
Harris responded by emphasizing racial disparities within the United States and by noting that the “failure to address the truths that may be difficult truths” is at the root of “systemic” issues.
“Joe Biden does that,” she said. “And he is doing that. He is addressing these truths. He speaks these truths. And one of the reasons I’m so excited to be on this ticket with him and God willing to serve with him is that he has the confidence of character, and a real genuine commitment to address these issues.”
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