- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 1, 2019

Sen. Cory A. Booker on Thursday praised former President Barack Obama but said taking a close look at Mr. Obama’s record is healthy, after candidates at Wednesday’s Democratic presidential debate had confronted former Vice President Joseph R. Biden about his former boss’s record on immigration.

“First of all, I miss Obama … and I miss her husband, too,” Mr. Booker said, using his well-tested line employed on the campaign trail.

He called Mr. Obama “our statesman.”

“He ain’t perfect — nobody’s ever pulled that off, and I’m sure if Barack Obama was sitting here, and I hope he’s sleeping this morning, he would tell you, ‘I made some mistakes,’” Mr. Booker said on CNN’s “New Day.”

“And to not point them out … Donald Trump is a guy my Republican colleagues can’t even criticize when he’s preaching racism,” he said. “We are having an honest conversation about an administration that was incredible. … Heck, if he was running for president for a third term, I wouldn’t be running.”

Mr. Booker said candidates talking about how their plans would be different from President Trump or Mr. Obama isn’t a bad thing.

During the debate, Mr. Biden said he would absolutely not go back to Obama-era levels of 400,000 deportations per year.

Mr. Booker had said that Mr. Biden can’t have it “both ways” when it comes to Mr. Obama, who remains immensely popular among Democrats.

“Mr. Vice President, you can’t have it both ways,” he said during the debate. “You invoke President Obama more than anybody in this campaign. You can’t do it when it’s convenient and then dodge it when it’s not.”

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