Biden invokes Ted Kennedy in defending remarks about working with segregationists

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenHarris faces pressure to define policy proposals Biden campaign rips 'Medicare for All,' calls on Dems to protect Affordable Care Act Harris voices support for Puerto Rico protesters: 'I stand with them' MORE invoked his former colleague the late Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) in defending his remarks about working with segregationist senators during his tenure in the upper chamber. 

“He’s the guy who got me on the Judiciary Committee, we served from years and years," Biden said Wednesday during a fundraiser at the home of Kennedy's nephew Tim Shriver, according to the pool report. 

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"And we had to put up with the likes of like Jim Eastland and Hermy Talmadge and all those segregationists and all of that," he continued, adding that he and Kennedy were able "to beat them on everything they stood for.”

The former vice president went on to say that he and Kennedy "detested" Sens. James Eastland (D-Miss.) and Herman Talmadge's (D-Ga.) stances on segregation. 

“And because of Teddy letting me become chairman of the Judiciary Committee in 1982, when he moved on to take on Health and Human Services, we were able to do so much," Biden said, citing the restoration of the Voting Rights Act. 

"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,” he said. 

Biden brushed off calls to apologize from his fellow Democratic presidential contenders for his Tuesday remarks about his work with Eastland and Talmadge. 

“At least there was some civility. We got things done. We didn't agree on much of anything. We got things done. We got it finished,” Biden said at a Tuesday night fundraiser. 

Biden also reminisced about working with Eastland and Talmadge in the Senate, saying Eastland never called him “boy.”