"They know better", Mr Biden told reporters while attending fundraisers in the Washington DC suburbs.
Biden made the remarks on Tuesday at a NY fundraiser, recalling the bygone era of civility in politics, where politicians could work together even though they "didn't agree on much of anything". "We got things done", Biden added.
"We can disagree in the margins", he said. We got it finished. But today, you look at the other side and you're the enemy. "I think there's a lot of other examples of where he has worked in a bipartisan fashion, but I would like to see us move on from there".
Eastland and Talmadge were Southern Democrats who continued to oppose desegregation and push for racial separation well after passage of Civil Rights legislation to tear down Jim Crow laws.
Joe Biden's history of dubious stances on racially-charged issues came back to haunt him again on Friday with the disclosure of old letters he wrote to a racist Southern senator thanking him for helping him to fight forced school busing.
FILE PHOTO: U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Mayor Pete Buttigieg delivers remarks on foreign policy and national security, in Bloomington, Indiana, U.S., June 11, 2019. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) after facing deep criticism from comments he made about his past negotiations with racist segregationists.
"You don't joke about calling black men 'boys, '" Booker said in a statement. "And Vice President Biden shouldn't need this lesson", he told CNN.
Biden's call for civility was a much-needed course correction, but the response coming from Booker, Sanders, and Harris suggests that few Democratic leaders will heed it. California Senator Kamala Harris accused Biden of "coddling the reputations of segregationists". "He repeatedly demonstrates that he is out of step with the values of the modern Democratic Party". Kamala Harris is also scheduled to speak in SC.
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"I think he's got to address it head on and show people what his line of thinking was", Antjuan Seawright, a Democratic strategist in SC, told the Post.
Media captionJoe Biden: Will it be third time lucky in 2020?
Then, Biden told another story about infamously racist former Senator Jesse Helms (R-NC) opposing the Americans with Disabilities Act.
"The point I'm making is you don't have to agree".
"You don't have to like the people in terms of their views", Biden said. "But you just simply make the case and you beat them without changing the system".
New Jersey Senator Cory Booker, who is also black, said it was "so insulting" that Mr Biden had called on him to apologise. There's not a racist bone in my body.
"Joe Biden seems to have tremendous support in the African-American community. I will not engage in the usage of words that will be harmful'". She hastened to say that she had "a great deal of respect" for Biden, and that "He has served our country in a very noble way". He basically said sometimes in Congress, one has to work with bad or down right racist folks to get things done.
"We know it's going to take extra work because I'm not from a community of color and also was not a famous person when this process began", Buttigieg said last week in Charleston, South Carolina.