Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden praised notorious segregationist Strom Thurmond as "one of my closest friends," a video unearthed by The Washington Examiner has revealed.
During a speech at the Strom Thurmond Institute in South Carolina in December 1988, Biden praised the segregationist Republican senator of South Carolina for the support and encouragement he had given him.
Biden began the speech by describing the close relationship he had developed with the Southern Democrat-turned-Republican. Strom Thurmond ran for president in 1948 on a segregationist platform and led a "record-setting" filibuster to block the Civil Rights Act in the 1950s. The Republican never gave up on his ideals.
During his speech, Biden noted the ideological differences between himself and the segregationist senator but nevertheless praised his friend. Biden seemingly justified Thurmond's views by describing the segregationist as someone who "understands" that the United States is a "heterogeneous" society, which means that "every point of view" needs to be acknowledged, and listened to.
"I get along with Strom Thurmond because I respect him. Because Strom Thurmond believes deeply in what he does, and he is a consummate legislator. He understands that this country is made up of 240 million people, the most heterogenous, diverse society in the world, and every point of view has to be accommodated. Every point of view has to be listened to."
Most recently Biden, as The Young Turks reporter Emma Vigeland revealed on Twitter, came under intense scrutiny for praising George W. Bush's vice president, Dick Cheney, as a "decent man." In 2015, Biden said -- without irony, as Vigeland noted -- that Cheney had helped him with setting the "legal parameters" of the vice president's office.