Major Biden Donor Pulls Support Over Segregationist Comments; Slams Debate Performance

In a previously unreported move, former Vice President Joe Biden lost the support of one of his top fundraisers on June 20 following Biden's comments regarding his work with segregationists in Congress, according to CNBC.

Tom McInerney, a veteran San Francisco based lawyer, informed Biden’s team on June 20 that he can no longer help him raise campaign cash to compete in the 2020 presidential election. -CNBC

"I had actually let the campaign known I’d pulled back my support of Biden for now," McInerney told CNBC, adding of Biden's Thursday debate performance: "I don’t think he did well last night.

McInerney's public admission marks the first major financier to sever ties with Biden, and may spark others to follow suit. 

"I would imagine I’m not alone," he added. 

McInerney was a lead bundler for President Obama's first campaign, helping to raise at least $200,000 according to the Center for Responsive Politics. 

Biden set off on a Bay Area fundraising tour Friday which will continue throughout the weekend. The former VP came under fire earlier this month at another fundraiser, where he fondly recalled working with two segregationist Democrats during his time as a Delaware Senator. 

"At least there was some civility. We got things done. We didn’t agree on much of anything," said Biden. "Today, you look at the other side and you’re the enemy."

At Thursday night's debate, 2020 contender Kamala Harris pounced on Biden - also knocking him over his opposition to federally mandated school busing programs, while the former VP stood there looking like a sour old man.  

"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, adding "And it was not only that — you also worked with them to oppose busing."

On Friday, Biden did damage control at a Rainbow PUSH Coalition conference in Chicago, telling the group founded by Rev. Jesse Jackson that "I never ever opposed voluntary busing and the program Sen. Harris participated in."

The longtime former Delaware senator argued he'd long worked to address the "root causes" of education inequality for blacks and whites, including working to desegregate neighborhoods. He to his support for extending the Voting Rights Act, along with his opposition to an amendment that would have effectively banned busing, which "wasn't the most popular vote in the country at the time."

"These rights are not up to the states to decide," Biden said. "They're our federal government's duty to decide. It's a constitutional question to protect the rights of every single American, and that's always been my position." -NPR

Meanwhile, the latest from PredictIt on who will win the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.