Booker calls on Biden to apologize over remarks on segregationist senators

Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerSunday shows - Guns dominate after Democratic debate Booker defends middle-ground health care approach: 'We're going to fight to get there' Sunday shows preview: Democratic candidates make the rounds after debate MORE (D-N.J.) spoke out Wednesday against comments by former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden bemoans white supremacy in remarks at civil rights movement site Gun control: Campaigning vs. legislating Sunday shows - Guns dominate after Democratic debate 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 BlasioAt debate, Warren and Buttigieg tap idealism of Obama, FDR De Blasio calls out Andrew Yang over Puerto Rico flub at debate The Hill's 12:30 Report: House panel approves impeachment powers 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 TrumpHarris bashes Kavanaugh's 'sham' nomination process, calls for his impeachment after sexual misconduct allegation Celebrating 'Hispanic Heritage Month' in the Age of Trump Let's not play Charlie Brown to Iran's Lucy 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.