It feels just like yesterday we tuned in for the first round of Democratic presidential 2020 debates. Oh wait, that was yesterday. Well, hopefully everyone was ready for round two! On Thursday, June 27, 10 more presidential hopefuls took the stage to make the case for why they're the best fit for the White House. And it turned into a wild ride. Just watch this video of Kamala Harris calling out Joe Biden on race at the Democratic debate, and you'll see what I mean, because it was a serious "wow" moment. What a way to end this two-night showdown.
On Thursday, June 27, Democratic candidates for president, including Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Sen. Kamala Harris of California, and others took the stage to show what they're bringing to the table for the 2020 presidential election. It's safe to say that these candidates had some big shoes to fill after night one, but the second night proved to be just as impressive, especially when Harris called out Biden on his past record concerning racial relations in the United States.
During the debate, MSNBC host and debate moderator Rachel Maddow brought up racial tensions in the United States and how to address them. Following a question to Buttigieg about the recent police-related death of a black man in South Bend, a number of candidates interjected to weigh in on the issue of race and policing.
But Harris delivered the real mic drop when she pointed out that she was the only candidate of color at the second night debate. "As the only black person on this stage, I would like to speak," she said. And oh, she did.
Harris pointed out how black Americans have been represented unfairly in legislative decisions within the United States, and proceeded to call out Biden specifically. She criticized him for his previous record on race, including his former opposition to busing, as well as his relationships with segregationist politicians. She began, "Vice President Biden, I do not believe you are a racist, and I agree with you when you commit yourself to the importance of finding common ground." But, she said, it was "personal and hurtful" to hear him support politicians who had "built their reputations and careers on the segregation of race," including opposition to busing — the practice of racially integrating schools by providing children with commuter transport to new school districts.
Harris proceeded to discuss her experience as an elementary school student who relied on busing to attend school to illustrate the importance of dealing with racial issues proactively. She said,
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. That little girl was me. So I will tell you that on this subject it cannot be an intellectual debate among Democrats, we have to take it seriously, we have to act swiftly. As attorney general of California I was very proud to put in place a requirement that all my special agents would wear body cameras and keep those cameras on.
Check out the moment below.
During the debate, Harris' team shared a childhood photo of the California senator via Twitter, as a nod to the politician's words.
Following Harris' comment, Biden immediately defended himself, saying that Harris' comments were not accurate and misrepresented his past. "There has been a mischaracterization of my position across the board. I did not praise racists, that is not true," Biden responded to Harris, saying he was willing to discuss the issue of race in depth. The vice president denied that he had opposed busing overall, saying that what he had been against was busing being "ordered by the Department of Education" and that he had supported allowing busing decisions to be made at the local level.
Harris, for her part, was unsatisfied. "That's why the federal government must step in," she said, to cheers.
So clearly, the June 27 debate in Miami, Florida was some must-watch TV. But don't fret if you missed it, because this is hardly the last debate. According to NBC News, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) has 12 primary debates lined up for the future, with the second round of debates being held on July 30 and July 31. So, you only have a little over a month to prepare for yet another wild ride of politics.
That's a wrap for the first round of 2020 Democratic debates folks! Take a moment, collect yourself, and get ready for July. The games are only beginning.