(SOUNDBITE) (English) JOE BIDEN, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT, SAYING: "Some may be downright repugnant to everything you stand for.
But to adjust, you have to." Former Vice President Joe Biden on Saturday apologized for his comments on working civilly with segregationist senators early in his career.
Speaking to voters in Sumter, South Carolina, he sought to end the weeks-old controversy that's exposed racial tensions in the 2020 Democratic primary race.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) JOE BIDEN, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT, SAYING: "Was I wrong a few weeks ago to somehow give the impression to people that I was praising those men who I successfully opposed time and again?
Yes, I was, and I regret it.
And I'm sorry for any of the pain or misconception I may have caused anybody." His remarks in June drew sharp criticism from others in the Democratic field, including Senator Kamala Harris.
KAMALA HARRIS, (D) CALIFORNIA, SAYING: "I do not believe you are a racist." She challenged Biden onstage at the NBC News-hosted Democratic debate last month in Miami.
KAMALA HARRIS, (D) CALIFORNIA, SAYING: "It was hurtful." Biden's early lead in the polls has been fueled by strong support from black voters.
But that support has appeared to wane recently, in the wake of criticism about his position in the 1970s about busing of minority students to integrate schools.
Biden tried to address that issue on Saturday by suggesting the country focus on the root causes of segregation, laying out his plans to combat housing discrimination, improve public education and more.