Kamala Harris delivers civil rights blow on Joe Biden at first US Democratic presidential debate

Harris criticized Biden for recently 'defending segregationists' in the Senate and for once opposing mandatory busing of students to desegregated public schools.

Published: 28th June 2019 11:34 AM  |   Last Updated: 28th June 2019 11:34 AM   |  A+A-

US presidential candidate Kamala Harris at the first democratic presidential debate in Miami.

US presidential candidate Kamala Harris at the first democratic presidential debate in Miami. ( Photo | AP)

By Associated Press

WASHINGTON: Kamala Harris spoke slowly but bluntly as she stared at Joe Biden, then began treating him as a hostile witness.

The former federal prosecutor turned California senator started by saying she didn't think the former vice president "was a racist".

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But she criticized him for recently 'defending segregationists' in the Senate and for once opposing mandatory busing of students to desegregated public schools.

Harris described a young girl in the 1970s who boarded such buses before dramatically offering, "That little girl was me."

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The moment was as powerful as it was unexpected. Biden entered back-to-back nights of presidential debates in Miami as the leading Democratic candidate.

Harris showed promise but had not made much of a mark lately. That all changed Thursday.

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