Van Jones: Biden's debate defense of busing policies, working with segregationists 'a heartbreaking moment'

Van Jones: Biden's debate defense of busing policies, working with segregationists 'a heartbreaking moment'
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CNN commentator Van Jones said Thursday night that former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenThe Hill's Campaign Report: Biden struggles to stay in the spotlight Is Texas learning to love ObamaCare? Romney warns Trump: Don't interfere with coronavirus relief oversight MORE “took the heart out of the civil rights movement” by refusing to apologize at that evening's Democratic debate for working with segregationist senators and for defending busing policies from early in his Senate career.

“Let me say as an African American why that was just unacceptable. That very argument was the argument that was used, that the federal government should leave us,” Jones said on CNN.
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“So he just took the heart out of the civil rights movement with that argument," Jones added. "Our plea was that we are one, the Constitution applies to all of us, and we want the federal government to stand with us and against the local racists.”
 
Jones, who was "green jobs czar" during the Obama administration, added that Biden's refusal to apologize "was a heartbreaking moment."

“My heart breaks about it at a personal level because all he had to do was say, ‘You know what? I think I was wrong there,' " Jones said. "If he had just said, ‘You know what, Kamala? I think I was wrong then, and I’ve learned something, and I’ve learned something from talking to people like you.' "
 
"It was a heartbreaking moment," he added.
 
Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisIs Texas learning to love ObamaCare? Democrats ask EPA, Interior to pause rulemaking amid coronavirus Politicians mourn the death of Bill Withers MORE (D-Calif.) slammed Biden for his record on busing, which ended up being the most-tweeted moment of the two-hour debate, according to data provided to The Hill by Twitter.
 
Biden defended his position Thursday on MSNBC after the debate.
 
“I supported busing to eliminate de jure segregation,” Biden said. "But what we’re talking about is whether or not the Department of Education, as opposed to the courts, could order de jure segregation, meaning segregation imposed by law.”

“I supported the court’s ability to strike down any, to order busing, in fact I voted against an amendment that came up in the Senate ... that wanted to take away the power of the court to stop busing.”