Sen. Kamala Harris doubles down on criticism of Biden's busing comments on The View

"I am gong to point out our differences of opinion," she said.

July 12, 2019, 1:25 PM

Sen. Kamala Harris doubled down on her criticism of fellow 2020 hopeful Vice President Joe Biden and his remarks on busing in the first Democratic debate as a fundamental disagreement not "a personal conflict."

Host Meghan McCain quoted fellow 2020 presidential candidate Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, saying she denounced Harris' attack as "political ploy" and that her position on busing doesn't seem all that different from Joe Biden.

Harris countered "Listen this is a presidential race ...we're on a debate stage and if you have not prepared and you're not ready for someone to point out a difference of opinion....then you're probably not ready."

She further outlined her concerns about how the current debate over desegregation is being framed in a modern context and underscored the historic impetus for such efforts.

"I have no intention of attacking Joe Biden," Harris responded on The View. "But I am going to point out our differences of opinion on a very critical moment in the history of the United States. 1954, the United States Supreme Court unanimously decided Brown v Board of Education, because there were segregationists in the history of our country, including the members of the United States Senate, who lived their career and their reputations on the basis of ensuring that the races would not be educated together...And... they worked on an issue that directly impacted me, which is this issue of busing."

Harris made her second appearance on The View on Friday, two weeks after the debate performance that sent her soaring into double digits in polls, placing her into the top tier of candidates.

During that debate, roughly 18 million viewers watched Harris challenge Biden on his claims of working with segregationists and his stance against busing to integrate schools decades ago, telling a personal story of being bused.

PHOTO: Democratic presidential candidate and Senator Kamala Harris, center right, makes an appearance on ABC's "The View," July 12, 2019.
Democratic presidential candidate and Senator Kamala Harris, center right, makes an appearance on ABC's "The View," July 12, 2019.
ABC News

"It was not only that but you also worked with them to oppose busing. There was a little girl in California who was part of the second class to integrate her public schools. She was bused to school every day. That little girl was me," Harris said.

Harris has called Biden's efforts to explain himself "revisionist history."

"I'm not going to let us engage on a debate stage for who's going to be the next president of the United States – I’m not going to allow us to engage in revisionist history,” Harris said in a taping of the popular New York-based syndicated radio program "The Breakfast Club," which aired Friday morning.

"I can't stand on that stage and allow certain conversations to be taking place," Harris told the radio hosts.

The Biden campaign did not respond to ABC News' previous request for response to Harris's comments on The Breakfast Club.

PHOTO: Democratic presidential candidate and Senator Kamala Harris, center right, makes an appearance on ABC's "The View," July 12, 2019.
Democratic presidential candidate and Senator Kamala Harris, center right, makes an appearance on ABC's "The View," July 12, 2019.
ABC News

On The View, she once again brought up those concerns about how the nation's history of desegregation and busing of black students to predominantly white schools and districts was being cast in the ongoing debate.

"If I were serving in the United States Senate 40 years ago, when Joe Biden was serving we would have been on opposite sides," she said.

"At that time, we had people leading state houses, we had people holding very high positions of authority and power in our country who were dead set on segregation ...That's why Brown v Board of Education had to go to the United States Supreme Court. That's why [Chief Supreme Court Justice] Earl Warren, because this issue was so important, if you read his history, he said, this is such a fundamental issue about fairness in our country, that it is critically important. The court is unanimous on this decision, because this should not be about politics. It is a core issue of what's right in our country. And so - and why does it have to go to the United States Supreme Court because there was violence - and I'm not saying that word casually -violence to the desegregation of schools."

Harris, a former California attorney general and prosecutor, also weighed in on Labor Secretary Alex Acosta's resignation amid controversy over his role in a 2008 plea deal with accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein. Such cases, she said, are difficult to prosecute.

"I personally prosecuted child sexual assault cases. And they are some of the most difficult cases to prosecute...The predator selects his prey in a way that is about vulnerable children...any prosecutor worth his salt knows this is the exact kind of case that is typical of somebody who' preyed on children. And that case should go before a jury and that person should go to prison for a long period of time," she said. "The thing I found so troubling, disheartening and really unbelievable was the way that Acosta has described the's like saying it's really difficult to make an omelet...well then get out of the kitchen!"

Harris' campaign events in the next several days include stops in Atlantic City for the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Leadership Conference, and then multiple events in New Hampshire and Iowa.

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