Sanders: Biden 'owes the country an apology' on 'civility' remarks

Sanders: Biden 'owes the country an apology' on 'civility' remarks
© Greg Nash

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersSanders supporters cry foul over Working Families endorsement of Warren California poll: Biden, Sanders lead Democratic field; Harris takes fifth Kamala Harris calls for new investigation into Kavanaugh allegations MORE (I-Vt.) on Sunday again called on former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenSanders supporters cry foul over Working Families endorsement of Warren California poll: Biden, Sanders lead Democratic field; Harris takes fifth Poll: Biden holds five-point lead over Warren among New York Democrats MORE to apologize for touting his relationships with segregationists, saying Biden’s former colleagues participated in a “disgusting system.”

“It is one thing to work with people you have fundamental disagreements with, it’s another to kind of extol those relationships,” Sanders said on CBS’ “Face the Nation” Sunday. “You cannot be extolling people who really were part of a disgusting system.”

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“I think Joe owes the country an apology on that,” Sanders said, adding “Do I think Joe Biden is a racist? Absolutely not.”

Biden sparked controversy last week when he recounted his working relationship with vocal civil rights opponents Sens. James O. Eastland (D-Miss.) and Herman Talmadge (D-Ga.).

“At least there was some civility. We got things done. We didn't agree on much of anything. We got things done. We got it finished,” Biden said.

The comments drew condemnation and calls for apology from Sanders as well as several of Biden’s other rivals for the 2020 Democratic nomination, including Sens. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerOvernight Energy: Top presidential candidates to skip second climate forum | Group sues for info on 'attempts to politicize' NOAA | Trump allows use of oil reserve after Saudi attacks Poll: 33 percent of voters undecided on who won third Democratic debate Jon Bon Jovi: Booker would 'do an amazing job' as president MORE (D-N.J.) and Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisCalifornia poll: Biden, Sanders lead Democratic field; Harris takes fifth Kamala Harris calls for new investigation into Kavanaugh allegations Poll: Biden holds five-point lead over Warren among New York Democrats MORE (D-Calif.) and New York Mayor Bill de BlasioBill de BlasioPoll: Biden holds five-point lead over Warren among New York Democrats New York City won't penalize students for skipping school for climate rally Working Families Party endorses Warren after backing Sanders in 2016 MORE.

Rep. John LewisJohn LewisThe Hill's Morning Report — Biden steadies in third debate as top tier remains the same CBC marks 400th anniversary of slaves' arrival in US GOP buys JonOssoff.com after Democrat launches Georgia Senate bid MORE (D-Ga.), a leader in the civil rights movement who was beaten by police in Selma, Ala., defended the comments on Friday, telling reporters ““During the height of the civil rights movement we worked with people and got to know people that were members of the [Ku Klux Klan], people who opposed us, even people who beat us, arrested us and jailed us.”