"I was prepared for them to come after me, but I wasn't prepared for the person coming at me the way she came out", Biden said in the CNN interview that aired Friday as he reiterated his position that he was for voluntary busing. Kamala Harris of California raised almost $12 million the past three months, her presidential campaign announced on Friday.
The former vice president also downplayed Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's (D-N.Y.) victory over Rep. Joe Crowley previous year and suggested her ideas don't have broad appeal.
She also shared a personal story of being bused to school as a little girl as her campaign quickly tweeted out a photo of Harris as a young child.
"You had overwhelming response from the African American community in my state", Biden said of his time as a senator in Delaware.
Harris went after Biden on his civil rights record during the debate, in a move that defined the night and propelled the California senator in the polls.
Asked by CNN why he did not push back against the criticisms as aggressively as he is now, Biden said, "What I didn't want to do was get into that scrum".
The total about matches what Harris raised in the previous three months of her campaign and reflects the significance of a late fundraising push after a breakout debate performance in the final days of the fundraising period. And she criticized his stance against federally mandated busing to desegregate schools.More news: Senior MEP Has A Strong Message For Boris Johnson And Jeremy Hunt
More news: U.S. border patrol divers search for missing two-year-old girl in Rio Grande
More news: Trump says 'unfair' defence treaty with Japan needs to be changed
The former vice president expressed frustration that the debate was so focused on former policies instead of current issues.
"I get all this information about other people's past and what they've done and not done, and, you know, I'm just not going to go there", he said.
Biden, though, never made that argument during the debate, largely ceding the point to Harris during the nationally televised moment. "He's the bully that I've always stood up to", he said.
She added, "My objective was to really just make sure that in this conversation we are appreciating the impact on real people of policies that have been pushed in the history of our country".
Embracing his place as a moderate in the 24-candidate Democratic field, Biden said he's open to a woman on the ticket but that it would have to be someone he's "sympatico" with. Show me something ahead of time, ' Biden said of North Korea, faulting Trump for his openness with the rogue nation and its leader, Kim Jong Un.
"I know predators", she declared, "and we have a predator living in the White House".
She criticised Mr Biden for recently highlighting his decades-old work with segregationist senators and his opposition to bussing students to school during the 1970s.