Former US Vice President Joe Biden yesterday apologised for comments about working with segregationist senators in his early days in the US Senate, saying he understands now his remarks could have offended some.

"Was I wrong a few weeks ago?" Biden asked a mostly black audience of several hundred in Sumter during the first day of a weekend visit to South Carolina. "Yes, I was. I regret it, and I'm sorry for any of the pain of misconception that caused anybody."

Biden's comments came as he and rival presidential candidate Kamala Harris were campaigning in South Carolina, the first Southern state to vote in next year's primary and a crucial proving ground for candidates seeking support of black Democrats. Biden defended his record on racial issues and reminded voters of his ties to former President Barack Obama.

- AP

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