Harris on Biden civil rights record: 'Not going to allow us to engage in revisionist history'

Harris on Biden civil rights record: 'Not going to allow us to engage in revisionist history'
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2020 White House hopeful Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisClyburn: Biden 'suffered' from not doing 'enough' in early debates Sanders is a risk, not a winner House to vote on legislation to make lynching a federal hate crime MORE (D-Calif.) defended going after former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenButtigieg campaign claims 'irregularities' in Nevada caucuses Poll: Sanders leads 2020 Democratic field with 28 percent, followed by Warren and Biden More than 6 in 10 expect Trump to be reelected: poll MORE in the first Democratic primary debate over his comments about segregationist senators and his record on busing.

In an interview released on Friday, the California senator said that she went after Biden in last month's debate because she will not engage in “revisionist history” regarding the former vice president's civil rights record.


"I'm not going to let us engage on a debate stage for who's going to be the next president of the United States — I’m not going to allow us to engage in revisionist history,” Harris said during an appearance on "The Breakfast Club” New York radio show, reported by ABC News.

Harris has gone after Biden about his comments on working with segregationist senators Sens. James Eastland of Mississippi and Herman Talmadge of Georgia. During a fundraiser last month, Biden said “there was some civility” with the former lawmakers and “we got things done.”

Harris also hit Biden for his opposition to federally mandated school busing, telling a story of how she was bused to school as a child.

“I will tell you also, after I said that, I cannot tell you the number of men and women who have said to me ‘I was that girl. I was that boy,’ and I can’t stand on that stage and allow certain conversations to be taking place,” Harris said in the interview.

“Because, remember, I didn’t bring this conversation up about these segregationists. That has been going on for weeks. But I cannot be on that stage and not speak up to make sure that we are having a full accounting of American history on these issues.”

Biden said in an interview on July 5 that he was “not prepared” for Harris to attack his personal record on racial issues during the debate.

"I was prepared for them to come after me, but I wasn't prepared for the person coming at me the way she came at me," Biden told CNN's Chris CuomoChristopher (Chris) Charles CuomoTrump takes shot at Cuomo's brother ahead of Oval Office meeting Buttigieg: It was 'disgraceful' to hear Trump's attacks on Romney Media's selective outrage exposed in McSally-Raju kerfuffle MORE

Biden also told reporters last week at a campaign stop in Iowa that he does not have to “atone” for his record on civil rights. 

“I don’t have to atone. My record stands for itself. I’ve never been accused by anybody, in my state or when I’ve been running, as not being an overwhelming supporter of civil rights and civil liberties,” Biden said.