Democratic presidential candidate Cory Booker speaks during the Iowa Democratic Party's Hall of Fame Celebration, Sunday, June 9, 2019, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Booker campaign gets 2020 jolt with pushback against Biden

June 20, 2019 - 3:36 pm

WASHINGTON (AP) — Cory Booker is raising his profile in the crowded Democratic presidential primary by directly challenging Joe Biden on thorny racial issues.

The New Jersey senator called on Biden to apologize Wednesday after the former vice president nostalgically referenced the "civility" he maintained during his time in the Senate even with two segregationists in the 1970s, despite their vast distance in ideology. Biden pushed back, telling Booker that he should be the one to apologize because "he knows better."

Biden called Booker on Wednesday night to discuss the matter, but tensions between the two 2020 presidential candidates continued into Thursday.

A Booker spokeswoman says that he "shared directly what he said publicly" with Biden and that Biden should "take responsibility for what he said and apologize to those who were hurt."