Booker calls on Biden to apologize over remarks on segregationist senators

Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony Booker2020 Democrats react to 'send her back' chants at Trump rally The Hill's Morning Report - Trump seizes House impeachment vote to rally GOP Democrats warm to idea of studying reparations MORE (D-N.J.) spoke out Wednesday against comments by former Vice President Joe BidenJoe Biden2020 Democrats react to 'send her back' chants at Trump rally Can Biden's canceled cancer initiative be salvaged? Biden's health care gaffe shows he's not ready for prime time MORE in which he positively invoked two segregationist senators, calling on his fellow presidential candidate to apologize.

“You don’t joke about calling black men ‘boys.’ Men like [Sen.] James O. Eastland [(D-Miss.)] used words like that, and the racist policies that accompanied them, to perpetuate white supremacy and strip black Americans of our very humanity,” Booker said in a statement Wednesday.

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“And frankly, I’m disappointed that he hasn’t issued an immediate apology for the pain his words are dredging up for many Americans. He should,” Booker added.

In remarks at a fundraiser Tuesday night, Biden reminisced about working with Eastland and Sen. Herman Talmadge (D-Ga.) in the Senate, saying Eastland never called him “boy.”

“At least there was some civility. We got things done. We didn't agree on much of anything. We got things done. We got it finished,” Biden said.

“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," Booker said. "I have to tell Vice President Biden, as someone I respect, that he is wrong for using his relationships with Eastland and Talmadge as examples of how to bring our country together."

Booker is the second Democratic presidential candidate to directly go after Biden over the remarks. Earlier Wednesday, New York City Mayor Bill de BlasioBill de Blasio2020 Democrats react to 'send her back' chants at Trump rally Moulton campaign makes formal case to DNC to be added to debate stage Bullock makes CNN debate stage MORE (D) also condemned the remarks, a sharp shift during a primary season that has so far largely seen the candidates focus their barbs on President TrumpDonald John TrumpAmash responds to 'Send her back' chants at Trump rally: 'This is how history's worst episodes begin' McConnell: Trump 'on to something' with attacks on Dem congresswomen Trump blasts 'corrupt' Puerto Rico's leaders amid political crisis MORE instead of one another.

“It’s past time for apologies or evolution from @JoeBiden. He repeatedly demonstrates that he is out of step with the values of the modern Democratic Party,” de Blasio tweeted.