Biden: I understand the racial implications of the word 'boy'

Biden: I understand the racial implications of the word 'boy'
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Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenTop adviser on Sanders: 'He's always been underestimated' 'The Simpsons' pokes fun at Trump's feud with 'the squad' 'Forever war' slogans short-circuit the scrutiny required of national security choices MORE said he understood the racial implications of the term “boy” amid fallout over him using the word in comments reminiscing about his relationship with segregationist former colleagues, according to CNN.

"I do understand the consequence of the word 'boy,'" Biden told MSNBC’s Al Sharpton Saturday in South Carolina. "But it wasn't said in any of that context at all."

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During remarks at a fundraiser last Tuesday, Biden spoke of the “civility” of his relationship with former Sen. James O. Eastland (D-Miss.), a vociferous opponent of the civil rights movement, as an example of working with those he didn't agree with to get things done in the Senate.

"He never called me 'boy,' he always called me 'son,’” Biden said.

Biden told Sharpton that the context for the remark was that Eastland had referred to other younger members of the Senate, including Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) as “boy,” but not Biden.

"To the extent that anybody thought that I meant something different, that is not what I intended it," he said. "It'd be wrong for anybody to intend that."

Biden has also drawn heat from his fellow presidential candidates for speaking highly of his cooperation with Eastland and fellow segregationist Sen. Herman Talmadge (D-Ga.), including Sens. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerSenate Democrats push for arms control language in defense policy bill Detroit county sheriff endorses Booker for president 'The Simpsons' pokes fun at Trump's feud with 'the squad' MORE (D-N.J.), Bernie SandersBernie SandersSenate Democrats push for arms control language in defense policy bill Top adviser on Sanders: 'He's always been underestimated' 'The Simpsons' pokes fun at Trump's feud with 'the squad' MORE (I-Vt.) and Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisSenate Democrats push for arms control language in defense policy bill Top adviser on Sanders: 'He's always been underestimated' 'The Simpsons' pokes fun at Trump's feud with 'the squad' MORE (D-Calif.) and New York City Mayor Bill de BlasioBill de BlasioThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Biden expands lead in new national poll De Blasio brushes off low poll numbers: 'The vast majority of Democratic voters are going to make their decision late' NYPD fires officer in Eric Garner case MORE.

After Booker called on Biden to apologize, Biden responded that it was Booker who should apologize, with the two reportedly speaking privately about the issue later last week.

"I have a lot of respect and gratitude for the vice president, and I want folks to know I have nothing to apologize for when it comes to speaking truth to power,” Booker said Saturday, according to CNN. “And he's a powerful person a former vice president and I hope that our candor with each other will always help to make each other better servants to the people.”