- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 20, 2019

Sen. Cory A. Booker on Wednesday said there will be no forthcoming apology from him to 2020 presidential rival Joseph R. Biden and that he doesn’t understand why Mr. Biden needs a “lesson” after the former vice president held out his past work with segregationist senators as an example of civility.

“For his posture to be to me, I’ve done nothing wrong, you should apologize, I’m not a racist, is so insulting and so missing the larger point that he should not have to have explained to him,” Mr. Booker of New Jersey said on CNN.

“This should not be a lesson that someone who’s running for president of the United States should have to be given,” he said.

At a fundraiser Tuesday evening, Mr. Biden noted his work with the late Sens. James O. Eastland and Herman Talmadge, saying that they didn’t agree on much but that there was “civility” and that they got things done.

Mimicking a Southern accent, he also joked that Eastland “never called me boy, he always called me son,” according to a pool report of the event

Mr. Booker said someone running for president should understand the negative connotations of calling an African-American man “boy.”

“The indignity to watch another man call my father ‘boy,’ to have myself have older men when I was a man, to use those kinds of terms — these are the kind of things that do cause hurt and harm,” the senator said.

“What matters to me is that a guy running to be the head of our party, which is a significantly diverse and wondrous party, doesn’t understand or can’t even acknowledge that he made a mistake, whether the intention was there or not. That’s what was stunning to me,” Mr. Booker said. “I don’t understand why he needs this lesson.”

Mr. Biden said it’s Mr. Booker who should apologize.

“Apologize for what? Cory should apologize — he knows better,” he told reporters Wednesday evening. “There’s not a racist bone in my body — I’ve been involved in civil rights my whole career — period. Period. Period.”

Mr. Booker said Mr. Biden is “better than this.”

“Instead, he’s falling back into the defensive crouch that often people say, which is, ‘Cory called me a racist,’ or ‘I’m not a racist,’ which is not what I said and not what I’m calling him,” he said.

“This is the problem — he knows better,” Mr. Booker said. “And at a time [when] Donald Trump never apologizes for anything and starts to create that kind of, I think, toxic sentiment that you never apologize, never apologize, never apologize … I know Joe Biden. He is better than this.”

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