One of the most memorable exchanges from Thursday’s Democratic Debate was when Kamala Harris hit Joe Biden on busing. The California Senator was able to highlight Biden’s lack of support for federally mandated busing to schools in the 1970’s. The moment earned Harris praise and as a result of her strong debate performance, she has been moving up in polls.
Trump was asked about the Harris/Biden debate at the G20 Conference in Osaka, Japan. He said that Harris has received too much credit for her debate exchange with Biden. He also seems to have completely misinterpreted why the busing question was important.
Jonathan Karl from ABC News had initially asked Trump about the exchange. Trump answered, “First of all, before we get into that, I thought that she was given too much credit.”
NBC News’ Kristen Welker then rephrased the question allowing the President the chance to give a different answer. Trump told her:
“Well, that’s something that they’ve done for a long period of time. You know, there aren’t that many ways you’re going to get people to schools. So this is something that’s been done. In some cases, it’s been done with a hammer instead of a velvet glove. And, you know, that’s part of it.. But this has been certainly a thing that’s been used over the — I think if Vice President Biden had answered the question somewhat differently, it would have been a different result. Because they really did hit him hard on that one. But it is certainly a primary method of getting people to schools.”
While federally mandated busing did provide a way for children to get to school, it served a more important purpose. Busing was a way for underprivileged children (many of the minorities) to attend better funded schools. Biden’s rejection of busing in the 1970’s should continue to be an issue for him on the campaign trail.