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Bloomberg apologizes after critics say his calling Booker 'well spoken' was racist

Bloomberg apologizes after critics say his calling Booker 'well spoken' was racist
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Former New York City Mayor Michael BloombergMichael BloombergBiden's great challenge: Build an economy for long-term prosperity and security The secret weapon in Biden's fight against climate change Sanders celebrates Biden-Harris victory: 'Thank God democracy won out' MORE apologized Friday after calling fellow 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Cory BookerCory BookerBiden budget pick sparks battle with GOP Senate Policy center calls for new lawmakers to make diverse hires Dangerously fast slaughter speeds are putting animals, people at greater risk during COVID-19 crisis MORE (D-N.J.) “well spoken," a phrase which critics have said has racist undertones.

While discussing his 2020 competitors with CBS’s Gayle KingGayle KingCBS News President Zirinsky wins National Press Club Fourth Estate Award The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by UAE - US records 1 million COVID-19 cases in a week; governors crack down Obama said his 'initial instinct' during '09 outburst from Joe Wilson was to 'smack this guy on the head' MORE in an interview that aired Friday morning, Bloomberg said, “Cory Booker endorsed me a number of times, and I endorsed Cory Booker a number of times. He’s very well spoken, he’s got some good ideas.”

Bloomberg added that in regards to the candidate pool, “it would be better the more diverse any group is, but the public is out there picking and choosing and narrowing down this field.”

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Many criticized Bloomberg’s remark towards Booker as a racist slight commenting on the candidate’s intelligence.

Booker said he was “taken aback” by Bloomberg’s comment.

“It’s sort of stunning at times that we are still revisiting these sort of tired tropes or the language we have out there that I don’t think folks understand,” Booker said in a radio interview that he shared on Twitter. “The fact that they don’t understand is problematic.” 

Bloomberg later said he should not have used that term while referring to Booker, according to CBS News.

"I probably shouldn't have used the word, but I could just tell you he is a friend of mine," he said. "He is a Rhodes Scholar, which is much more impressive than my academic background. I envy him."