I know it’s painful to look back at 2019, but let’s take a trip down memory lane, shall we?
It was the Democratic presidential debate and current Vice President Kamala Harris had decided to go for then-nominee Joe Biden’s jugular.
Training her gaze directly at the former VP, Harris said:
“I do not believe that you are racist, and I agree with you when you commit yourself to the importance of finding common ground, but ... it was hurtful to hear you talk about the reputations of two United States senators who built their reputations and career on the segregation of race in this country.
“And it was not only that, but you also worked with them to oppose busing,” Harris continued. “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. And that little girl was me.”
Well after this debate, a livid Jill Biden vented “go fuck yourself” about anyone who wanted to come for her husband’s record on race, according to an excerpt of The Atlantic’s Edward-Isaac Dovere’s forthcoming book, Battle for the Soul: Inside the Democrats’ Campaigns to Defeat Trump, Business Insider reports.
“With what he cares about, what he fights for, what he’s committed to, you get up there and call him a racist without basis?” Biden said on a call with “close supporters” about a week after the debate.
“Go fuck yourself,” Biden added.
The now-first lady’s press secretary Michael LaRosa did not deny that she made the comment.
“Many books will be written on the 2020 campaign, with countless retellings of events — some accurate, some inaccurate,” LaRosa told Politico Playbook in a statement. “The First Lady and her team do not plan to comment on any of them.”
Biden had been facing a rehashing of his complicated (read troubling) positions on race and Harris was looking to boost her financial standing as well as her polling numbers, but Dovere’s book claims that the news cycle which began focusing on Biden’s “record on racial justice issues including school busing and criminal justice” was partly driven by the opposition research work of Harris’ team.
“Right before the debate, Biden garnered controversy for comments he made at a New York City fundraiser fondly remembering the days of “civility” in the Senate when he worked with people he didn’t agree with, including two Democratic senators who supported segregation,” Business Insider reports.
“I was in a caucus with James O. Eastland. He never called me ‘boy,’ he always called me ‘son,’” Biden said. “Well guess what? 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.”
After the debate, Biden reportedly leaned to his right and said, “Well, that was some f—-ing bullshit” to fellow 2020 candidate and now-Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, Dovere writes.
Dovere’s book will be released on May 25.