Booker calls on Biden to apologize over remarks on segregationist senators

Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerNew poll catapults Buttigieg to frontrunner position in Iowa Deval Patrick: a short runway, but potential to get airborne Overnight Health Care: Warren promises gradual move to 'Medicare for All' | Rivals dismiss Warren plan for first 100 days | White House unveils rules on disclosing hospital prices | Planned Parenthood wins case against anti-abortion group MORE (D-N.J.) spoke out Wednesday against comments by former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenBudget official says he didn't know why military aid was delayed: report Growing 2020 field underscores Democratic divide READ: Foreign service officer Jennifer Williams' closed-door testimony from the House impeachment inquiry 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 BlasioDeval Patrick enters 2020 race De Blasio slams Bloomberg run for president: He 'epitomizes the status quo' The Hill's 12:30 Report: Washington braces for public impeachment hearings 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 TrumpGOP divided over impeachment trial strategy Official testifies that Bolton had 'one-on-one meeting' with Trump over Ukraine aid Louisiana governor wins re-election 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.