It’s beginning to look REALLY bad for Joe Biden…
Former First Lady Michelle Obama refused to defend Joe Biden as the ex-vice president is engulfed in controversy for his longstanding views on busing and his more recent praise of segregationists.
On Saturday, Obama was asked at the Essence Festival in New Orleans, Louisiana if she wanted to share her thoughts on the recent “dust up” between Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) at the first Democrat presidential debate last month.
The former first lady pointedly refused to engage on the topic, simply saying “I do not.” Obama added that she was not new to “this rodeo” and would not discuss the issue further.
“I’ve been doing this rodeo far too long,” she said. “And no comment.”
The Essence Festival was the first time either of the Obamas was asked publicly to weigh in on the unfolding controversy surrounding Biden.
Last month, the former vice president came under fire for invoking the late-Sens. James Eastland (D-MS) and Herman Talmdage (D-GA), at a fundraiser in New York City. The former vice president brought up the two men while touting his ability to forge “consensus” in Congress.
“I was in a caucus with James O. Eastland,” Biden told donors with an effected Southern drawl. “He never called me boy, he always called me son.”
“Well guess what?” the former vice president continued. “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. But today you look at the other side and you’re the enemy. Not the opposition, the enemy. We don’t talk to each other anymore.”
The praise was highly controversial, as Talmadge and Eastland were infamous segregationists who dedicated their careers to stopping the progress of civil rights. Eastland, whom Biden has praised as a friend and mentor in the past, was known as the “voice of the white South” for his defense of Jim Crow and propensity for referring to African Americans as “an inferior race.” Talmadge, on the other hand, pledged to do everything in his power to protect “separation of the races” in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education decision, which struck down segregation in public schools.
Although Biden had invoked the segregationist Democrats in the past, he always refrained from discussing what they were able to accomplish together. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), however, was quick to point out during the first Democrat presidential debate that both Talmadge and Eastland were some of Biden’s closest allies in his crusade against busing.
“I agree with you when you commit yourself to the importance of finding common ground,” Harris said, “but I also believe and it’s personal and it was hurtful to hear you talk about the reputations of two United States senator who built their reputations and career on the segregation of race in this country.”
“It was not only that, but you also worked with them to oppose bussing,” she continued. “There was a little girl in California who was part of the second class to integrate her public schools and she was bussed to school every day. That little girl was me. So I will tell you that on this subject, it cannot be an intellectual debate… we have to take it seriously.”