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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

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 12:45 p.m. ET: 30,838,610 — Total deaths: 958,090— Total recoveries: 21,088,552Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 12:45 p.m. ET: 6,777,026 — Total deaths: 199,352 — Total recoveries: 2,577,446 — Total tests: 94,211,463Map.
  3. Politics: Testing czar on Trump's CDC contradictions: "Everybody is right" Trump's health secretary asserts control over all new rules.
  4. Education: What we overlooked in the switch to remote learning
  5. Health: The dwindling chances of eliminating COVID-19.
  6. World: Guatemalan president tests positive for COVID-19 — The countries painting their pandemic recoveries green.
Updated 2 hours ago - Health

7 states set single-day coronavirus case records last week

Data: Compiled by Axios; Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

Seven states set new highs last week for coronavirus infections recorded in a single day, according to the COVID Tracking Project and state health departments. Wisconsin and Nebraska surpassed records set the previous week.

Why it matters: Problem spots are sticking in the Midwest, although the U.S. is moving in the right direction overall after massive infection spikes this summer.

Murkowski says she opposes voting on Ginsburg replacement before election

Photo: Greg Nash/Pool/Getty Images

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) said in a statement Sunday that she opposes holding a Senate confirmation vote on President Trump's nomination to replace Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg before the election.

Why it matters: Murkowski joins Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) as one of two Republican senators who have thus far said that they do not support rushing through a confirmation vote before November. Two more defections would likely force Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to resort to holding a vote in the lame-duck session, which neither Murkowski nor Collins have addressed.