OK, so Joe Biden has finally announced his running mate, the Trump and Biden campaigns (and the Lincoln Project) have already released videos, the new Biden-Harris logo is out along with the merchandise (including a Biden-Harris face mask), and outlets like the New York Times are already trying to pitch Harris as a moderate.

It’s been about an hour, and the Washington Post has already posted a fact-check of the Trump campaign’s assertion that Harris called Biden a racist during the debates. Sure, she might have heavily implied that he might have worked closely with segregationists and argued for segregationist policies, but she never actually called him a racist.

Philip Bump writes:

“Not long ago,” the statement from campaign adviser Katrina Pierson read, “Kamala Harris called Joe Biden a racist and asked for an apology she never received.”

None of that is true and, given the alacrity with which similar claims spread following the Harris announcement, it’s worth explaining why.

“I was actually very — it was hurtful to hear you talk about the reputations of two United States senators who built their reputations and career on the segregation of race in this country,” Harris said [during the debates]. “And it was not only that, but you also worked with them to oppose busing” — that is, federal efforts to integrate schools by busing Black students into largely White districts.

“You know, there was a little girl in California who was part of the second class to integrate her public schools, and she was bused to school every day,” Harris continued. “And that little girl was me.”

Biden, clearly taken aback, called it “a mischaracterization of my position across the board” and insisted that he “did not praise racists.” The two went back and forth on Biden’s record on busing for a while, and then the conversation moved on.

That knife-stab into Biden’s back was both brutal and meticulously planned, because at the very moment Harris said, “And that little girl was me,” her campaign website started selling T-shirts bearing a photo of her as an elementary school student.

But she didn’t call him a racist. Out loud. It seems that the message came through loud and clear, though.

Even Teen Vogue — Teen Vogue! — said that Harris did everything but call Biden a racist.


Now, she never actually came out and called him a racist. Pants-on-fire false. Weird, though, when Teen Vogue is a more reliable source than the Washington Post.