"I am frustrated that it took so long but I am grateful for him doing this", Booker said. "Biden's relationships with proud segregationists are not the model for how we make America a safer and more inclusive place for Black people, and for everyone... he is wrong for using his relationships with Eastland and Talmadge as examples of how to bring our country together". "We don't talk to each other anymore".
Speaking of Talmadge, Biden said, "a guy like Herman Talmadge, one of the meanest guys I ever knew, you go down the list of all these guys. We got things done", Biden said of his late former colleagues, quipping that Eastland, "Never called me "boy"; he always called me 'son'".
In the aftermath of the remarks, Biden faced widespread rebuke from his 2020 rivals, including Sens.
"It was the honor of my lifetime to serve with a man who I believe was a great president, a historic figure, and most important to me ― a close friend", Biden said.
"It was not only that, but you also worked with them to oppose busing", she continued.
Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., has several issues she'll face in the primaries, including some of her actions as the California attorney general.
Clearly on defence, Mr Biden called Ms Harris's attack "a complete mischaracterisation of my record".
"Was I wrong a few weeks ago to give the impression that somehow, I was praising those men I successfully opposed time and time again?" he said at a rally in SC, referring to his controversial remarks earlier about being able to work successfully with segregationists in the Senate decades ago as he sought to portray himself as a unifier.
In South Carolina, an early-voting state in the nominating contests that kick off next February, Biden will deliver a speech in the afternoon responding to recent criticism by Harris about his track record on race. Yes, I was. I regret it. "I'm sorry for the pain and misconception".
The timing of the apology, though, didn't seem to please everyone.
"These are the kind of things that do cause hurt and harm", Booker told CNN soon after Biden's initial comments.
Biden went on to say that said that America in 2019 has drastically changed compared to the 70s and he has also personally changed.
Trump has focussed his attacks on Biden because polls show, even those done by the president's re-election campaign, that the former vice-president has a persistent double-digit lead on him in head-to-head polls. "It was probably best [two] weeks ago but it was strong today".