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The Democratic Party debates saw the pool of presidential hopefuls angling to stand out amongst the throng ahead of the 2020 election. Sen. Kamala Harris made a strong showing, this after she checked former Vice President Joe Biden on his civil rights record.

As reported by Crooks and Liars:

Harris: “And I will say also that in this campaign we have also heard and I will direct this at 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 I also believe and it’s personal and it was hurtful to hear you talk about the reputations of two United States Senators who built their reputations and careers on the segregation of race in this country. It was not only that, but you also worked with them to oppose bussing. There was a little girl in California who was part of the second class to integrate her public schools and she was bussed to school every day. And that little girl was me.”

Biden’s response to Sen. Harris using his name and challenging his record seemingly came at an unexpected moment.

More from Crooks and Liars:

Biden: It’s a mischaracterization of my position across the board. I do not praise racists. That is not true. [Author’s note: Harris didn’t say he praised racists. She said his comments about segregationists were hurtful.] Number one. Number two, if we want to have this campaign litigated on who supports civil rights, and whether I did or not, I’m happy to do that. I was a public defender. I didn’t become a prosecutor. I left a good law firm to become a public defender. When in fact my city was in flames because of the assassination of Dr. King. Number one. Number two, as vice president of the united states, I worked with a man who in fact we worked very hard to see to it we dealt with these issues in a major, major way.

Watch the exchange below.

Photo: Getty