Biden called Booker to ease tensions after remarks about working with segregationists: report

Biden called Booker to ease tensions after remarks about working with segregationists: report
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Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenNAACP seeks to boost Black voter turnout in six states Biden touts Trump saying Harris would be 'fine choice' for VP pick Kamala Harris: The conventional (and predictable) pick all along MORE called fellow presidential candidate Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerCalifornia Dems back Yang after he expresses disappointment over initial DNC lineup Obamas, Clintons to headline Biden's nominating convention Senators ask for removal of tariffs on EU food, wine, spirits: report MORE (D-N.J.) in an attempt to halt the escalating war of words between the two that began with Biden reminiscing about working with segregationist senators and Booker urging him to apologize for the remarks, according to The New York Times.

Biden called Booker shortly after the New Jersey senator’s Wednesday night appearance on CNN, during which Booker told Don Lemon Biden “shouldn’t need this lesson,” The Times reported, citing two people familiar with the call.

A spokesperson for Booker's campaign said the senator "shared directly what he said publicly," adding that he still believes Biden should apologize for his remarks.

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“Cory shared directly what he said publicly — including helping Vice President Biden understand why the word 'boy' is painful to so many," a spokesperson for Booker's campaign told The Hill. "Cory believes that Vice President Biden should take responsibility for what he said and apologize to those who were hurt."

Biden sparked the controversy when, at a fundraiser Tuesday, he spoke of his time working with Sens. James O. Eastland (D-Miss.) and Herman Talmadge (D-Ga.), both of whom opposed the civil rights movement.

“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.

Booker was one of the first candidates to call for Biden to apologize for the comments.

Biden the responded by saying Wednesday evening that Booker should apologize.

“He knows better. There’s not a racist bone in my body. I’ve been involved in civil rights my whole career,” Biden said. That was followed by Booker's appearance on CNN.

Biden’s campaign has also sent out talking points noting that his competitors in the crowded Democratic field have themselves worked with congressional colleagues who have been accused of racism.

“The point of the story is that you have to be able to work with people, even if they hold positions repugnant to you in order to make some progress,” the talking points read.

“Our opponents in this race agree — they’ve worked with [former Sen.] Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsKamala Harris: The right choice at the right time Three pros and three cons to Biden picking Harris The 'pitcher of warm spit' — Veepstakes and the fate of Mike Pence MORE [R-Ala.], [Rep.] Steve KingSteven (Steve) Arnold KingJD Scholten says he doesn't need DCCC to win Iowa seat The Hill's Campaign Report: Biden builds big lead in battleground Florida Progressive Bowman ousts Engel in New York primary MORE [R-Iowa], [Sen.] Cindy Hyde Smith [R-Miss.] among others across the aisle to do their jobs in Congress.”

Booker’s and Biden’s campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill.

Updated 6:16 p.m.