Cory Booker questions whether Joe Biden is ‘up to that task’ of talking ‘openly and honestly about race’
  • Presidential candidate Sen. Cory Booker questioned whether former Vice President Joe Biden is “up to” the “task” of talking “openly and honestly about race” in a Sunday appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
  • Booker brought up racially insensitive comments Biden has made in the past, and said the Democratic nominee needs to be someone who can reconcile Americans on the issue of race.
  • Read more stories like this on INSIDER.

Sen. Cory Booker appeared on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday morning, and in his interview with Chuck Todd he addressed former Vice President Joe Biden’s exchange with Sen. Kamala Harris during the second night of the 2020 Democratic debates in Miami.

“Look, I was talking about the Vice President’s comments well before the debate, where he used words like ‘boy’ in a way that caused a lot of hurt and harm, and I called him out on it,” Booker said, referencing comments Biden made at a recent fundraiser reflecting on Democratic senators who supported segregation.

“I was in a caucus with James O. Eastland. He never called me ‘boy,’ he always called me ‘son,'” Biden said at the fundraiser Tuesday night in New York City. “Well guess what? At least there was some civility. We got things done.”

“And instead of coming forward saying ‘I could have said that better’ or ‘Let me tell you what I meant,’ he fell into a defensive crouch and tried to reassign blame and said that I should apologize to him,” Booker said.

“Whoever our nominee is going to be, whoever the next president is going to be really needs to be someone who can talk openly and honestly about race with vulnerability, because none of us are perfect, but really call this country to common ground, to reconciliation.”

Read more: Cory Booker responds to racist tweet shared by Trump Jr.: ‘Kamala Harris doesn’t have s*** to prove’ about her race

Booker continued on to say he wasn’t sure Biden “is up to that task, given the way these last three weeks have played out.” Apart from Biden’s exchange with Harris during Thursday’s debate, in which he defended his record on civil rights, Biden’s campaign has struggled to overcome his record on race-related issues.

“Frankly, I know whoever is that nominee needs to be able to pull this country together because we need to reconcile,” Booker said.

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