Vice President Joe Biden angrily responded at Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) after facing deep criticism from comments he made about his past negotiations with racist segregationists.
"How does it feel that your Democratic rivals are implicitly saying that you have issues talking about race?" asked one reporter.
"They know better," Biden responded.
"Are you going to apologize like Cory Booker has called for?" asked another reporter.
"Apologize for what? Cory [Booker] should apologize! He knows better!" Biden exclaimed.
"There's not a racist bone in my body, I've been involved in Civil Rights my whole career," he added.
"Period," he concluded. "Period. Period."
Booker had said earlier on Wednesday that Biden should apologize for his comments about working with segregationists.
"You don't joke about calling black men 'boys.' Men like [Sen.] James O. Eastland [(D-Miss.)] used words like that, and the racist policies that accompanied them, to perpetuate white supremacy and strip black Americans of our very humanity," Booker said.
"And frankly, I'm disappointed that he hasn't issued an immediate apology for the pain his words are dredging up for many Americans," Booker added. "He should."
Biden explains what he really meant
Biden also explained to the reporters what he meant when he said that he could deal civilly with segregationists.
"Here's the deal," Biden said. "I ran for the United States Senate because I disagreed with the views of the segregationists, and many of them in the Senate at the time.
"As I led the Judiciary Committee I was able to pass," Biden explained, "what I was talking about was the Voting Rights Act. I was able to pass the Voting Rights Act while, when I was a young senator, when he was still the chairman, he voted against it and we beat him on the Voting Rights Act."
"Secondly, when I was chairman of the committee, I extended the Voting Rights Act for 25 years, not 5 years. In addition to that, I made it very clear, by the end, by the last time, as I was on that committee, I was chairman of foreign relations, but I was a lead Democrat. We extended it another 25 years, and we got 98 out of 98 votes for it," he continued.
"The point I'm making is, you don't have to agree, you don't have to like the people, in terms of their views," he added.
"But you just simply make the case and you beat them," he said emphatically. "You beat them. Without changing the system."
Here's the video of Biden's comments:
Biden rips Booker for attacking nostalgia for working with segregationists: 'Cory should apologize' www.youtube.com