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 BidenDemocrats ask if they have reason to worry about UK result Media organization fights Trump administration over Ukraine documents FOIA Buttigieg releases list of campaign bundlers 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 BookerThe Hill's Campaign Report: 2020 Democrats trading jabs ahead of Los Angeles debate Booker cancels NH activities, campaign says he has the flu Trump neck and neck with top 2020 Democrats in Wisconsin: poll MORE (D-N.J.), Bernie SandersBernie SandersDemocrats ask if they have reason to worry about UK result Buttigieg releases list of campaign bundlers Reject National Defense Authorization Act, save Yemen instead MORE (I-Vt.) and Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisSanders revokes congressional endorsement for Young Turks founder Cenk Uygur The Hill's Campaign Report: 2020 Democrats trading jabs ahead of Los Angeles debate New poll finds Sanders surging to within 7 points of Biden in South Carolina MORE (D-Calif.) and New York City Mayor Bill de BlasioBill de BlasioNYPD creates special unit for far-right and neo-Nazi threats Mayor accuses de Blasio of dumping New York's homeless in Newark Conservatives must absolutely talk politics at the Thanksgiving table 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.”