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Kamala Harris raises $2 million in first 24 hours after debate

Kamala Harris on Biden: "Just speaking truth"

Sen. Kamala Harris raised $2 million in the 24 hours after the first Democratic debate on Thursday, according to her campaign. She received donations from 63,277 people, 58% of whom were new contributors. The campaign said it was its best online fundraising day yet.

"We have momentum," said Lily Adams, the campaign's communications director. Adams said "supporters across this country are fueling our campaign because they saw her empathy, her passion, and her direct focus on the issues that keep people up at night."

The average contribution was $30, and the campaign quadrupled their share from Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada.

Harris drew praise from progressives after the debate because of her clash with Vice President Joe Biden over his relationships with segregationists during his tenure in the Senate and his past stance against busing to desegregate public schools.

The California Democrat stood out amongst the packed crowd of 10 candidates on stage, eliciting some of the loudest applause after she forced moderators to give her time to answer a question on race relations -- noting that she was the only African American present on the debate stage. 

Harris later said she does not believe the former vice president is a racist but called his statement about finding "common ground" with segregationists personally "hurtful" to people of color like her.

"It was not only that, but you also worked with them to oppose busing. There was a little girl in California who was part of the second class to integrate her public schools and she was bused to school every day," Harris, 54, told Biden. "That little girl was me."

"That's a mischaracterization of my position across the board," Biden shot back at Harris, defending his support for civil rights and highlighting his work as a public defender.

In an interview with "CBS This Morning" Friday, Harris responded to criticism from Biden's camp that the contentious moment was a "low blow."

"It was about just speaking truth and as I've said many times, I have a great deal of respect for Joe Biden but he and I disagree on that," Harris said.

She added, "My purpose 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."

Biden defends civil rights record after debate attack

Biden has lately been heavily scrutinized for his problematic past with America's black communities. In the 1970s, Biden opposed busing to desegregate public schools, later explaining he opposed "busing ordered by the Department of Education."

As chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, he oversaw the contentious Anita Hill hearings during the confirmation process for then-Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas in 1991.

He also helped spearhead efforts to pass the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, which many believe fueled a period of mass incarceration that disproportionately affected African Americans and other minority groups.

Asked if Biden's past remarks and standpoints disqualify him from ever being president, Harris said that was an issue for the voters to decide.