Biden comments trigger renewed scrutiny of his record on race

Joe Biden has boasted on the campaign trail that he knows how to make government work again, pointing out that he even got things done with Southern segregationists decades ago.

But rather than bolster his image as an effective pragmatist, Biden’s parables of working with long-dead Dixiecrats have started to reinforce two of his biggest liabilities: his age and his record on race.

A 76-year-old centrist who spent 36 years in the Senate before serving as vice president, Biden was already out of step with the Democratic Party’s left wing, which wants a fresh face, a woman, a candidate of color or at least an unapologetic progressive torch-bearer.

Now, just a week before the first debate of the presidential campaign, the criticisms from progressives and Biden’s opponents have begun to mount. The backlash came after Biden told donors Tuesday night about how he worked with racist lawmakers like Georgia Sen. “Herman Talmadge, one of the meanest guys I ever knew, you go down the list of all these guys.”

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