Booker dodges question about spokesperson's Biden 'senate judiciary hearing' tweet
Cory Booker says that Joe Biden should be apologizing to the American people; David Spunt reports.
The tweet, which came shortly after the line-up for the next Democratic presidential primary debate was announced, is in reference to the controversial hearing of Anita Hill, who accused Supreme Court Associate Justice Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment and was grilled by Biden, who at the time was the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Booker, who has been highly critical of Biden’s record on race, dodged a question about the tweet during an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union,” saying that he “did not see the tweet” and that he is “looking forward” to being on the debate stage.
Pressed by CNN’s Dana Bash to answer a question about Biden’s handling of the Anita Hill hearing, Booker once again did not directly attack his fellow Democrat and instead steered the conversation toward equal treatment of women and stopping sexual assault.
Booker, however, did mention Biden during an interview on Sunday on CBS’ “Face the Nation” – praising the former vice president for apologizing for his support of the controversial 1994 crime bill.
“I want people like Joe Biden, which he finally did, thank God, to stand up and say, ‘I was wrong, that bill did a lot of harm,’” Booker said. “So to me this isn't politics, this is standing up and talking about our culture, who we're going to be, what's the soul of America.”
Booker and Biden will face off – along with 18 other Democratic candidates – in Detroit on July 31 for the next Democratic debate.
While Booker plans to hammer Biden on his past stances, most eyes will be on the match-up between Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., who used the first debates to propel herself into the top tier with an aggressive takedown of the 76-year-old Biden's long record on race.
Although of different gender, race and generation, the two rivals share the same broad path to the nomination, particularly the broad coalition of white and black voters necessary to win the Southern primaries that dominate the early months of the nominating calendar.
Harris' June attacks on Biden's 1970's opposition to federal busing orders as a way to desegregate public schools was a way for her to stand out to liberal whites and to try to cut into Biden's strength in the black community, where he is lauded as the loyal vice president to Barack Obama, the nation's first black president.
To be clear, Biden aides say Harris' broadsides sparked a new aggressiveness and determination for the former vice president, and he's gone on a policy offensive in recent weeks, most notably on health care.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.