Booker: Biden Not Up to Dealing With Trump Who ‘Uses Racism as Political Currency’

Friday on MSNBC’s “Live,” 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) said after former Vice President Joe Biden’s controversy about working with segregationists and bussing, Biden was not up to the challenge of dealing with President Donald Trump, who he said “overtly uses racism as a political currency.”

Velshi asked, “You started this thing when you went to Vice President Biden and you said that it didn’t make sense that he was using the segregationist Democratic senators in the ’70s as examples of how he can deal with people across the aisle. But you were sort of talking to the way in which he did that and the sensitivity that he should use. This now has become a different debate about whether Joe Biden was or was not on the right side of what many Americans have come to see critical civil rights issues.”

Booker said, “I think that what I was bringing out before —first of all it’s not about working with people who you disagree with. I do that all the time in the Senate to pass major bills.  This is about power dynamics that have been used for decades and generations to create deep divisions, racial divisions in this country. And whether it’s his rhetoric using the word boy by saying this southern segregationist senator didn’t call me boy, he called me ‘son.’ That’s because he wouldn’t call Joe Biden boy. He would use that word to demean and degrade African-Americans. ”

He continued, “So let me just be clear; after this president with the way he overtly uses racism as a political currency, the next leader whoever is a leader of our party has to be up to the challenge of bringing reconciliation and healing and addressing these issues. They can’t fall into a defensive crouch or try to shift blame as he said to me that I should apologize to him. That’s not the kind of leadership we need. We need the kind of leadership that can reignite the sense of common purpose that we all have a challenge to deal with the persistent realities of racial discrimination in this country. Angela Davis says it’s not enough to say I’m not a racist, if racist exists you need to be anti-racist. We need a leader that can bring all the disparate elements of our party together to help move this country forward.”

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN

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