Democratic presidential candidate Senator Cory Booker told Chuck Todd on Meet the Press Sunday that fellow candidate Joe Biden has shown “an inability to talk candidly about the mistakes he made” regarding race.
Todd asked Booker about Biden’s “hoodie” comments that Booker had taken issue with on Twitter earlier this week and about Biden’s exchange with Senator Kamala Harris regarding busing during this week’s Democratic debate. Todd specifically wanted to know if Booker thought the controversies disqualified the former vice president.
Booker’s main point of contention seems to be what he perceives as Biden’s inability to admit when he’s wrong.
“What we’ve seen, from the vice president, over the last month, is an inability to talk candidly about the mistakes he made, about things he could’ve done better, about how some of the decisions he made at the time, in difficult context, actually have resulted in really bad outcomes,” Booker said.
— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) June 30, 2019
“And this is a bad culture, where you can’t admit mistakes, where you can’t speak to your vulnerabilities and your imperfections. We all have them. But when it comes to difficult issues with race, if you can’t talk openly and honestly about your own development on these issues, I think it’s very hard to lead our country forward, so that we actually can deal with our past and rise to a better common cause and common future,” Booker said.
He continued, “And we have one destiny in this nation. And right now, the vice president, to me, is not doing a good job at bringing folks together. In fact, and I’ve heard this from people all around the country. He’s causing a lot of frustration and even pain with his words.”
Biden has taken a lot of heat of late, as all front-runners do. But thus far, he hasn’t seemed adept at putting out fires. Maybe he is stubborn, and that may turn out to hurt him. Or, maybe Biden is harkening back to what an awful primary candidate he’s been in the past and has decided to take a page out of Trump’s book: apologize for nothing, because apologizing makes you look weak. Polls due out next week that will measure reactions to this week’s debates could give us some clues.