Biden defiant after criticism from fellow Democrats over segregationist comments

Democratic presidential candidates attacked presidential candidate Joe Biden on Wednesday a day after the former vice president cited his working relationships with two late segregation senators as examples of the kind of "civility" in Congress that has disappeared.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and Senator Cory Booker, D-N.J., Denounced Biden by name in a break with the practice that most Democrats have followed so far. De Blasio, whose wife is black, and Booker, who is black, framed his criticisms in personal terms.

Biden has been scrutinized for comments on deceased lawmakers James Eastland of Mississippi and Herman Talmadge of Georgia, who showed up at the Carlyle Hotel in New York City on Tuesday night. Biden said Eastland "never called me a boy" and said he could work with Talmadge despite disagreements.