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Joe Biden says he 'wasn't prepared' for Kamala Harris' debate attack

'She knows me'

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden admitted this week that he "wasn't prepared" for Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) to come "after me the way she came after me" during the first Democratic presidential primary debate.

What are the details?

During a sit-down with CNN's Chris Cuomo on Thursday, Biden said he expected to be the target of his rivals, but Harris' assault took him by surprise.

"I was prepared for them to come after me, but I wasn't prepared for the person coming at me the way she came at me," the front-runner said.

Harris went after Biden on his civil rights record during the debate, in a move that defined the night and propelled the California senator in the polls.

Biden told Cuomo of Harris, "She knew Beau, she knows me. I don't — anyway, I — but here's the deal. What I do know, and it's the good news and the bad news: the American people think they know me, and they know me."

Politico noted that Harris served as attorney general in California during the same time Biden's son, Beau, was attorney general of Delaware. Beau passed away from brain cancer in 2015.

Anything else?

Despite attacking Biden in her debate tirade for not supporting federally mandated busing decades ago, Harris backtracked on the issue herself this week. Speaking to reporters in Des Moines, Iowa, Wednesday, Harris was not willing to endorse government-forced busing of students for the purpose of "desegregating" schools.

According to the Associated Press, a reporter asked Harris whether she supports federal mandated busing, to which the candidate replied, "I think of busing as being in the toolbox of what is available and what can be used for the goal of desegregating America's schools."

When further pressed for clarification as to whether she would support a mandate, Harris said, "I believe that any tool that is in the toolbox should be considered by a school district."

Harris's comments in Iowa did not go unnoticed by the Biden campaign. Biden's deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield tweeted a link to the AP story saying, "It's disappointing that Senator Harris chose to distort Vice President Biden's position on busing — particularly now that she is tying herself in knots trying not to answer the very question she posted to him!"

One last thing…
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