The Rev. Jesse Jackson knocked Joe Biden for his past views on busing, saying the former vice president used to be on "the wrong side of history."
Ahead of Biden's Friday afternoon appearance at the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, Jackson said on CNN that he would press the Democratic front-runner on his positions and defense of states' rights when it comes to civil rights.
The heightened scrutiny of Biden's stance on busing comes after the second round of debates Thursday night, when California Sen. Kamala Harris hit him on his record, referring to her own experience as a child bused to a better school.
As a senator in the 1970s, Biden stood against federally mandated busing as the best way to integrate schools. In the debate, he reiterated: “I did not oppose busing in America. What I opposed is busing ordered by the Department of Education.” Biden had also recently talked to wealthy donors about finding common ground when he was a U.S. senator to work with known segregationists in the Senate.
"I don't know why he took that side of history, but I think he's changed," Jackson said. "The oldest show of dismissing, of being insensitive of the need to heal, exalting Clarence Thomas was a big mistake."
He went on to say about Biden's past stance against busing: "In my judgment, it was the wrong side of history."
In his CNN appearance, Jackson also equated the protection of states' rights to "when Trump says 'make America great again.'" He pointed to the lynching of black Americans, voting rights and health care, and said it was necessary for the federal government to intervene to stop human rights violations.
Jackson and Biden have history: After a failed presidential campaign in 1984, Jackson launched a second run in 1988, when he faced off with Biden, who had told a mostly black audience to reject Jackson's candidacy. But Jackson said that over the years, Biden has grown in the positions he's taken — and that the former vice president just wasn't prepared for an attack from Harris.
"We hope he's outgrown those problems, but his competition will force him in the primary to deal with that," Jackson said."
Rev. Jesse Jackson says Biden was on 'the wrong side of history' with busing