Presidential candidate Sen. Corey Booker (D-NJ) said in a statement that Biden should issue an “immediate apology” for his comments.
“Vice President Biden’s relationships with proud segregationists are not the model for how we make America a safer and more inclusive place for black people, and for everyone,” he said.
However, instead of apologizing for his comments, Biden says Booker should apologize to him.
“Cory should apologize,” he said. “He knows better. There’s not a racist bone in my body. I’ve been involved in civil rights my whole career.”
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden hits back at Cory Booker after Booker said he should apologize for praising a racist segregationist senator: “Apologize for what? Cory should apologize. He knows better. There's not a racist bone in my body” pic.twitter.com/yX1P03a3ig
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) June 20, 2019
As Time points out, Biden made his controversial remarks on Tuesday at a fundraiser in New York:
The controversy began at a New York fundraiser Tuesday when Biden pointed to long-dead segregationist senators James Eastland of Mississippi and Herman Talmadge of Georgia to argue that Washington functioned more smoothly a generation ago than under today’s “broken” hyperpartisanship.
“We didn’t agree on much of anything,” Biden said of the two men, who were prominent senators when Biden was elected in 1972. Biden described Talmadge as “one of the meanest guys I ever knew” and said Eastland called him “son,” though not “boy,” a reference to the racist way many whites addressed black men at the time.
Yet even in that Senate, Biden said, “At least there was some civility. We got things done.”