CNN’s Bash Covers For Biden On Kamala’s Cracks Against Him On Race

News & Politics

Dana Bash Tim Scott CNN State of the Union 5-26-24 Dana Bash did double duty on Sunday. Not just hosting CNN’s State of the Union—but serving as a Biden campaign surrogate, too! Bash began by confronting her guest, South Carolina Republican Senator Tim Scott, with a Biden campaign ad attacking former President Trump on race.

[When’s the last time Bash used a Republican attack ad to put a Democrat on the spot?]

When in response, Scott alluded to accusations Kamala Harris had made against Biden on issues of race during the 2020 presidential election cycle. “[H]is own Vice President, Kamala Harris, said he supported segregation,” he recalled. 

Bash rose to Biden’s defense: ”Senator, just one thing, on the Kamala Harris: you were talking about when they were running against each other for the nomination. I’m just giving context to our viewers of when it happened.”

Translation: What Kamala said then doesn’t count now. Just forget it! 

But as Scott pointed out, “She made the statement, literally on TV. It’s not something that cannot be confirmed.”

And what did Kamala Harris say on TV? In the presidential debate of June 2019, Harris told Biden:

It was actually hurtful to hear you talk about the reputations of two United States senators 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 busing. ”

Scott was correct in saying that Kamala’s accusations were something that could be confirmed.

As for Kamala’s comment about Biden talking about segregationist senators, here’s what Bash’s own CNN has reported at the time:

“[Biden] does have a history of praising several senators who supported segregation and opposed the Civil Rights Act . . . Biden praised then-Mississippi Sen. John Stennis, a staunch segregationist as a ‘hero’ and ‘a hell of a guy.’

“Biden also has praised South Carolina Sen. Strom Thurmond, who ran for president as a segregationist in 1948 as a Dixiecrat.”

Biden also described segregationist senators Stennis, Thurmond and Eastland as “my friends.”

And Harris was also correct in saying that Biden worked with segregationists to oppose busing. As per this NBC News article, “Joe Biden didn’t just compromise with segregationists. He fought for their cause in schools, experts say.”

But none of that stopped Bash from defending her boy Biden, brushing off Kamala’s comments with the equivalent of a, “nothing to see here, move along!”

Beyond Kamala’s slaps at Biden on race, Scott was also correct in mentioning that Biden had in the past complained that desegregation would force his children to grow up in a “racial jungle.”

The transcript is below. Click “expand” to read:

State of the Union
9:10 am EDT

DANA BASH: I want to turn to something you mentioned at the beginning of the interview, which is a rally that the former president held in the Bronx on Thursday to try to win over black and Latino voters. I want you to watch a new ad from the Biden campaign this week.

BIDEN CAMPAIGN AD: Donald Trump disrespecting black folk is nothing new. It’s why Trump stood with, violent, white supremacists, warned of a bloodbath if he loses the next election, and if he’s president again, vowed to be a dictator who wants revenge on his enemies.

BASH: So senator, what do you say to black Americans, black voters, who watch that ad and share those concerns about Donald Trump?

TIM SCOTT: Well, here’s what I can tell you, is that under Donald Trump, we were better off. The two things that are driving black votes back to Donald Trump: jobs and justice . Number one, under Donald Trump, our wages were going up, right now, fairness is going down.

But if you’re really concerned about racial justice in America, let’s not forget, Joe Biden is the guy that talked about racial jungles as a result of desegregation. Let’s not forget the fact that Joe Biden is a president who said if you don’t vote for me, you can’t be black. An old white dude telling me I can’t be black if I don’t vote for him. 

This is a president who said that the Republican party wants to put you back in chains. The only person I’ve seen restraining black folks economically is a Joe Biden economy. So I find it quite insulting to suggest that Joe Biden does not have serious concerns when his own Vice President, Kamala Harris, said he supported segregation. 

And if you look in cities like Chicago today, the elimination of charter schools under Joe Biden resegregates schools in America. We need four more years of common sense under Donald Trump, and not four more years of segregation under Joe Biden, and his approach to allow poor black kids to go to any school in their own cities.

BASH: Senator, I think we’re, just one thing on the Kamala Harris. You were talking about when they were running against each other for the nomination —

SCOTT: I think she, I think she made the statement literally on TV.

BASH: You don’t think calling Joe Biden somebody —

SCOTT:  It’s not something that cannot be confirmed.

BASH: Yeah. No, no. I’m not, I’m just giving context to our viewers of when it happened.

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