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Photo: Joshua Lott/Getty Images

Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden apologized Saturday and said he was wrong for his comments last month on segregationist senators.

Why it matters: Previously, he defiantly refused to apologize for citing segregationists James Eastland and Herman Talmadge as examples of how the Senate used to be more civil, saying his comments were taken out of context. During his apology at an event in South Carolina, Biden did not address whether it was wrong to work with the segregationists.

  • When asked last month if he'd apologize, Biden said, "Apologize for what?" He added Democratic presidential rival Sen. Cory Booker should apologize for criticizing his remarks.

The big picture: Biden found himself attacked from all sides during the first Democratic presidential debate, the New York Times notes — and, in an indication he's the presumed 2020 rival, he's repeatedly come under attack from President Trump.

  • During his apology, Biden invoked his work during the Obama administration and defended his civil rights record.
“It’s as if my opponents want you to believe I served from 1972 until 2008 — and then took a hiatus for the next eight years. They don’t want to talk much about my time as vice president of the United States. I was vetted ... And [then-President Obama] selected me. I’ll take his judgment about my record, my character my ability to handle the job over anyone else's."

Go deeper: Joe Biden on the issues, in under 500 words

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Key government agency says Biden transition can formally begin

General Services Administrator Emily Murphy. Photo: Alex Edelman/CNP/Getty Images

General Services Administrator Emily Murphy said in a letter to President-elect Joe Biden on Monday that she has determined the transition from the Trump administration can formally begin.

Why it matters: Murphy, a Trump appointee, had come under fire for delaying the so-called "ascertainment" and withholding the funds and information needed for the transition to begin while Trump's legal challenges played out.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Vaccines: Key information about the effective COVID-19 vaccines — Oxford and AstraZeneca's vaccine won't just go to rich countries.
  2. Health: U.S. coronavirus hospitalizations keep breaking recordsWhy we're numb to 250,000 deaths.
  3. World: England to impose stricter regional systemU.S. hotspots far outpacing Europe's — Portugal to ban domestic travel for national holidays.
  4. Economy: The biggest pandemic labor market drags.
  5. Sports: Coronavirus precautions leave college basketball schedule in flux.

Michigan board certifies Biden's win

Poll workers count absentee ballots in Detroit, Michigan on Nov. 4. Photo: Salwan Georges/The Washington Post via Getty Images

The Michigan Board of State Canvassers certified the state's election results on Monday, making President-elect Joe Biden's win there official and granting him the state's 16 electoral votes.

Why it matters: Republican Party leaders had unsuccessfully appealed to delay the official certification, amid the Trump campaign's failed legal challenges in key swing states.