Presidential candidate Kamala Harris dominated her Democratic rivals in a debate on Thursday, confronting front-runner Joe Biden on race and calling his remarks about working with segregationist senators “hurtful.”
In a breakout performance, the daughter of a black father from Jamaica and an Indian mother was at the centre of several heated exchanges during the second night of debates among Democrats vying for the right to challenge Republican President Donald Trump in the 2020 election.
Harris said the issue of race was deeply personal for her. She noted she was bused to school as part of integration efforts in California, and she questioned Biden’s 1970s opposition to school busing.
“I do not believe you are a racist. And I agree with you when you commit yourself to the importance of finding common ground,” said Harris. Biden appeared shaken by the attack, but defended his record on civil rights and said his remarks had been mischaracterized as praise for racists.