Sen. Cory Booker, D-NJ, shared his endorsement of former Vice President Joe Biden early Monday putting previous disagreements on issues such as criminal justice reform aside. Following the announcement, CBS This Morning pressed Booker on why he chose Biden and if it was “more about beating Donald Trump.”
"As I look at him… some of my biggest issues, like criminal justice reform, like racial justice, like economic justice, that he is going to be a strong leader on that… not just to beat Donald Trump, but to bring honor back to that office." – Sen. @CoryBooker on @JoeBiden pic.twitter.com/GygDJtiab1
— CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) March 9, 2020
“First of all, I love Joe Biden. He and I have had a great relationship for a long time. I wouldn’t have run against him if I didn’t think I was the best person to be the next President of the United States, but I’m out of the race,” Booker said.
He concluded, “And as I look at him, I know factually from talking to him that some of my biggest issues like criminal justice reform, like racial justice, like economic justice that he is going to be a strong leader on that, and can actually pull the country together the kind of coalitions we need to actually make progress in those areas. So, I’m enthusiastic about this decision. I’m determined to beat Donald Trump. I know he is a leader, not just to beat Donald Trump, but to bring honor back to that office.”
The answer to hatred & division is to reignite our spirit of common purpose.@JoeBiden won’t only win – he’ll
show there's more that unites us than divides us.
He’ll restore honor to the Oval Office and tackle our most pressing challenges.
That’s why I’m proud to endorse Joe. pic.twitter.com/RcsnZs5mfQ
— Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) March 9, 2020
The two clashed on key issues such as criminal justice reform. During CNN’s Democratic debate in July, 2019 in Detroit, Michigan, Booker labeled Biden’s criminal justice reform plan “inadequate.”
“This is a crisis in our country because we have treated issues of race and poverty, mental health and addiction with locking people up and not lifting them up. And Mr. Vice President has said, since the 1970s, every major crime, every crime bill major and minor has had his name on it. And, sir, those are your words, not mine,” Booker argued.
He continued, “And this is one of those instances where the house was set on fire, and you claimed responsibility for those laws. And you can’t just now come out with the plan to put out that fire. We have got to have far more bold action on criminal justice reform.”
Biden responded by criticizing Booker’s tenure as Newark Mayor saying “there was nothing done” to deal with corruption in the criminal justice system and claimed that Booker allowed the Newark police department to “stop and frisk” civilians.
Booker replied, “There’s a saying in my community: You’re dipping into the Kool-Aid and you don’t even know the flavor.” He added that the broken system was something he inherited and dedicated his time as Mayor to cleaning up.