Former Colleague Says Biden Raging at Him Over Busing 'Could Haunt' His Campaign

James Abourezk thought Biden 'would have been more accommodating'

Joe Biden / Getty Images
July 9, 2019

Former South Dakota senator James Abourezk said a recent Washington Free Beacon report on an incident between him and former Senate colleague Joe Biden would hurt his presidential campaign.

Abourezk's comments to Sioux Falls's USA Today-affiliated Argus Leader came after a passage from his 1979 memoir, Advise and Dissent, was unearthed by the Washington Free Beacon. In the book, Abourezk says Biden called him a "son of a bitch" and "dirty bastard" over his work to block a piece of anti-busing legislation introduced by Biden.

Abourezk was approached by the NAACP to oppose the anti-busing legislation, and agreed to filibuster the legislation in committee. After the filibuster proved successful, Biden responded aggressively, calling Abourezk a "dirty bastard" and a "son of a bitch," adding "if I ever vote for another one of your bills, it'll be a cold day in hell."

Asked in a Monday interview whether he believes the incident would "haunt" Biden's presidential aspirations, Abourezk said "sure it will."

"You know, Biden, he and I were seat mates. We went into the Senate together, and we sat together for two years. And you would think he would have been more accommodating."

Biden eventually became thankful for the opposition to his bill from Abourezk, as white constituents in Delaware were happy to see him "battle liberals in Washington."

Biden's legislation was supported by noted segregationist and former Mississippi senator James Eastland, a Democrat Biden recently praised for his civility.

Published under: 2020 Election , Joe Biden