Booker takes swipe at Biden criminal justice reform plan

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Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) swiped at former Vice President Joe Biden’s plan for criminal justice reform, tweeting Tuesday that it was “not enough to tell us what you’re going to do for our communities.”

“It’s not enough to tell us what you’re going to do for our communities, show us what you’ve done for the last 40 years,” Booker, a 2020 White House candidate, tweeted. “You created this system. We’ll dismantle it.”

{mosads}Booker has been a frequent critic of his fellow presidential contender’s record on criminal justice, particularly his leadership in passing a 1994 crime bill that included tougher sentencing provisions. A Booker campaign spokesperson confirmed to The Hill that, while the tweet did not mention Biden by name, it was meant as a direct response to the former vice president’s plan to counteract mass incarceration, announced earlier Tuesday.

The Biden plan includes an end to mandatory minimum sentences, private prisons, incarceration for drug use alone, cash bail and the placement of juveniles in adult prisons.

Booker, who released a criminal justice plan of his own before Biden’s, has blamed the 1994 bill for exacerbating mass incarceration in the U.S., calling it “a horrific bill that has led to the reality right now that is indefensible, where we have more African Americans under criminal supervision in America than all the slaves in 1850.”

Booker and Biden have sparred on other issues relating to the former vice president’s record, including a war of words in June after Biden spoke of his working relationship with segregationist Sens. James Eastland (D-Miss.) and Herman Talmadge (D-Ga.).

After Booker called for Biden to apologize, Biden fired back, saying Booker should apologize and that the senator “knows better.”

Biden reportedly later called Booker in an attempt to ease the tension.

The New Jersey senator also criticized comments Biden made at the second night of the first Democratic presidential debates, for which Booker was not present, when Biden said a “kid wearing a hoodie may very well be the next poet laureate and not a gangbanger.”

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