First black female senator defends Biden from Harris: 'For her to take that tack is sad'

The first female African American U.S. senator is defending former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenStopping Israel's annexation is a US national security interest Trump slams Biden staff for donating bail money to protesters At least 4,400 people arrested in connection with protests: report MORE after Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisJudd Gregg: Biden — a path to the presidency, or not Vogue's Anna Wintour urges Biden to pick woman of color for VP Biden should name a 'team of colleagues' MORE (D-Calif.) criticized him for his past opposition to federally mandated busing.

“We can be proud of her nonetheless, but her ambition got it wrong about Joe,” former Sen. Carol Moseley Braun (D-Ill.) told Politico for a story released Sunday. “He is about the best there is; for her to take that tack is sad.”

Moseley Braun has endorsed Biden in the 2020 Democratic primary.

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Harris during last week's primary debate accused Biden of being opposed to busing black students to majority white schools, noting that she personally benefited from such busing. 

"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," Harris said to Biden. "That little girl was me."

Biden called Harris's criticism a "mischaracterization" of his views and said his issue was with the Department of Education administering busing policies.

The California lawmaker also criticized Biden for saying that there had been "civility" when he worked with segregationist Sens. James Eastland (D-Miss.) and Herman Talmadge (D-Ga.) in the 1970s.

The exchange during the debate was seen a big moment for Harris, who has received a surge of support and donations in its wake.

Moseley Braun's defense of Biden may be crucial in Iowa, an important early caucusing state where the former vice president currently leads in polls.