Biden addresses busing record after debate confrontation with Harris

The former vice president defended his civil rights record as other Democratic presidential candidates, including Sen. Kamala Harris, were back on the campaign trail hours after the debate.
5:51 | 06/29/19

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Transcript for Biden addresses busing record after debate confrontation with Harris
Meantime, here at home Biden was doing damage control defending his civil rights record as some of the other democratic presidential candidates were back on the campaign trail just hours after battling it out on the debate stage. ABC's Rachel Scott is in Chicago where Biden spoke yesterday. Rachel, good morning to you. Reporter: Whit, good morning. Joe Biden seems ready for a do-over. He said 30 to 60 seconds on that debate stage just simply wasn't enough time for him to explain his decades long record on civil rights. The question now, will black voters cut him any slack? Joe Biden unapologetic and on the defensive. I never, never, ever opposed voluntary busing and as a program that senator Harris participated in and it made a difference in her life. Reporter: The former vp on stage at Jesse Jackson's rainbow push coalition attempted to limit the bruising from this debate blow. 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. Senator kamala Harris got personal and criticized Biden for once opposing mandatory busing of students to desegregate public schools. Biden fresh off the debate stage explained his record to a largely African-American crowd in Chicago. I've always been in favor of using federal authorities to overcome state initiated text gre situation. I asked Biden walking here with Jackson. How would you rate your performance last night? I'll let other people rate me. Reporter: Some black voters were disappointed. He looked quite frail. His answers were quite defensive. Reporter: Others conflicted but not ready to give up on him just yet. We need a man to beat Donald Trump and if we beat Joe Biden It leaves your mind open to think about somebody else. Reporter: Senator Warren also touched down in Chicago hoping it's her message that breaks through. Are you ready for some big change? Are you ready for some big structural change? Reporter: Others in the crowd of the democratic field taking an extra day in Florida. How are you doing? Reporter: Hours after clashing on the debate stage five democratic candidates standing together at the homestead migrant detention facility sending a unified message to the trump administration. When the trump administration overlooks the fact that what is happening with the detention of these children, the circumstances by which they arrived is a human rights abuse being committed by the united States government. And Rachel Scott is now back with us from Chicago. Rachel, during that debate, senator Harris raised her hand in support of abolishing private health insurance in favor of a government plan, but she's now clarifying that position and, Rachel, she's had to do this before, right? Reporter: Exactly, whit. Senator Harris said she misunderstood that question but it's not the first time she has sent mixed signals on the issue. Now she says she supports medicare for all with private insurance providing supplemental coverage. Whit. Rachel Scott in Chicago, thanks so much. Dan, over to you? A moment that could haunt her going forward. A lot to talk about so let's bring in our ringer, ABC news chief political analyst Matthew dowd who joins us from Texas. Matthew, good morning, sir. Let's start with Joe Biden playing cleanup after the debate. Do you think he's put this whole busing story behind him or does he still have work to do here? You know, Dan, we talked about last Saturday, I don't think it's the specific story that's the problem and he hasn't fully cleaned it up yet because he doesn't have a good explanation of it. It's the fact is Joe Biden trapped in another time and doesn't fit the 21st century democratic party and the candidates that take on Donald Trump who seems to be somebody who wants to harken back to the 1950s, do the Democrats want to nominate a candidate who seems to harken back to the 1970s and 1980s. Is a candidate that wants to go back to the '80s who wants to go back to the '50s and that's Joe Biden's biggest vulnerability. Does he fit the 21st century Democrats. A lot of people have been picking up on the fact he repeatedly during the course of the debate my time is up and his critics are, in fact saying his time is up. Let's loop back to president trump. We got that report from Jon Karl at the top of the show who is on the ground in Japan. Trump is now on the ground in South Korea. He extended that Twitter invite to Kim Jong-un to come meet him at the dmz today. Do you view that invite as savvy or risky? It's a bit of social media dating, it feels like to me. I don't know if it's either savvy or risky. I mean, I think Donald Trump is untraditional in almost everything he's done. It's an interesting way to sort of engage with a leader that we view as an adversary who seems to be building missile systems in this so I think it's Donald Trump as we've seen him. I don't think it changes people's perception of Donald Trump. It's just a -- what it would be normally would be a bizarre way to engage a foreign leader but we're very used to the nontraditional Donald Trump over the last 2 1/2 years. See how it goes today and we'll talk about it either way tomorrow morning. Matthew dowd, thanks for your analysis on a Saturday morning. Really appreciate it. Whit, over to you. Turning to a border wall roadblock for the trump administration. A federal judge barred the plan to siphon $2.5 billion in military funds to build segments of a wall along the u.s./mexico border. The judge in California ruled in favor of two lawsuits contending the money transfer was unlawful and the wall would pose environmental threats. The president plans to appeal that decision.

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