House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., defended former Vice President Joe Biden on Thursday, praising him as “authentic” and arguing his Senate partnerships with two segregationists prove he’s “worked across the aisle.”
Dismissing a furor that Biden was conciliatory to fellow Democrats James Eastland of Mississippi and Herman Talmadge of Georgia, Pelosi declared “authenticity is the most important characteristic that candidates have to convey to the American people,” the New York Post reported.
“Joe Biden is authentic,” she said a news conference. “He has lived his life. He considers certain things a resource, that he has worked across the aisle, that’s what he was saying.”
The blowback was triggered by Biden’s remarks at New York City fundraiser Tuesday, when he recalled about Eastman and Talmadge that “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,” The Hill reported.
Fellow Democratic presidential contenders pounced on the remarks, including Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey, who called on Biden apologize.
"Apologize for what? Cory should apologize. He knows better,” Biden said Wednesday, The Hill reported. “There’s not a racist bone in my body. I’ve been involved in civil rights my whole career. Period. Period. Period.”
At Thursday’s news conference, Pelosi also noted Biden’s long-standing support among African Americans.
“Joe Biden seems to have tremendous support in the African American community, but it’s for them to decide,” she said, The Hill reported. “It's not for me to make a judgment as to how they're going to react.”
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