President Joe Biden reportedly blew up over Vice President Kamala Harris’ now-infamous debate moment.
According to a new inside look into the 2020 Democratic primary, Edward Isaac Dovere’s “Battle For The Soul: Inside The Democrats’ Campaigns To Defeat Trump,” Harris was initially unsure whether she should take such a personal line of attack — and Biden was angered when she chose to do so.
Dovere wrote that Harris knew at the time that her only path to the nomination required Biden’s campaign to collapse — but because she knew Biden personally, she was reportedly reluctant to strike the blow herself.
But then, just before the debate, Biden made a few comments about his early days in the Senate, praising people he had worked with who were well known segregationists, according to the book. (RELATED: Rashida Tlaib Confronts Joe Biden On Tarmac)
Harris allegedly responded to the comments by telling reporters, “If the people he was talking about with such affection had their way, I would never have been able to be a United States senator.”
Still, according to Dovere, “She didn’t like how personal this was getting. She wanted to beat Biden, but she was searching for some way to condemn him for what he had said and done without attacking the man she liked and respected.”
Her campaign reportedly advised her to address the topic on the debate stage, preempting his likely rebuttal with a statement saying that she did not believe Biden to be a racist. The only warning she got from staffers, according to the book, was that if she took the shot and Biden ultimately won the nomination, it could cost her a position in his administration — even a shot at the vice presidency.
“I’m going to now direct this at Vice President Biden: I do not believe you are a racist, and I agree with you when you commit yourself to the importance of finding common ground,” Harris said from the debate stage. “But I also believe, and it’s personal — it was hurtful to hear you talk about the reputations of two United States senators who built their reputations and career on the segregation of race in this country. And it was not only that, but you also worked with them to oppose busing. And, you know, there was a little girl in California who was part of the second class to integrate her public schools, and she was bused to school every day. And that little girl was me.”
“Well, that was some f**king bulls**t,” he allegedly said.
Any potential bad feelings seemed to go away and Biden ultimately chose Harris to serve as his vice president.