(NEW YORK) — New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker on Tuesday told The View hosts that while he’s critiqued former Vice President Joe Biden in the past, he still thinks he’s the best candidate to defeat President Donald Trump and “create a more perfect union” in America.
“As I look at the future, I know that Joe Biden is the best position of the people in that race,” Booker told the hosts, just one day after endorsing Biden. “I’m excited about the prospect that he could help unify the Democrats … and actually be the leader that can reach out to independents, to moderate Republicans.”
“[Biden] has the best chance of not only beating Donald Trump, but of beginning to heal the country,” Booker, also a former 2020 presidential candidate, added.
Co-host Sunny Hostin recalled a moment from a July Democratic debate when Booker and Biden went head-to-head and the senator told Biden: “You’re dipping into the Kool-Aid and you don’t even know the flavor,” when discussing criminal justice reform.
“When you’re in a primary, you’re running because you think you’re the best person, so of course you’re gonna have critiques,” Booker said on Tuesday. “The reality is Joe and I actually bonded during the primaries. We had some exchanges, but they were always done with a sense of dignity, with not trying to tear down the character of the other person.”
He added, “And we both said that’s the way our politics should be.”
Booker said the election’s been plagued with a “cancel culture” — where candidates tear each other down and judge each other by low points from the past, instead of trying to “elevate everybody.”
“It doesn’t mean we have to agree or like each other but we have to understand that we need each other, that we are each other’s hope for a brighter future,” Booker said. “And Joe embodies those ideals the best in this race right now.”
He continued, adding that while Biden “ain’t perfect,” he’s the one to help unify the Democratic Party and America in general.
“I feel a sense of urgency about this election. I want everyone to know: make your own decision, follow your own heart,” Booker said. “But if you want to know where I’m going, I’m on team Joe. I’m ridin’ with Biden.”
When co-host Joy Behar pressed Booker on the possibility of becoming a vice presidential candidate on Biden’s ticket, Booker said he loves his job and will support whomever Biden chooses.
“We’ve seen incredible diversity in this race, and I think there should never be a time again in the Democratic Party that we don’t have diverse tickets,” Booker said. “As far as choosing the vice president, [Biden]’s going to … be the nominee and make that choice.”
He added, “I know he’s going to make the choice on the right criteria.”
The New Jersey lawmaker gracefully deflected the question, adding that he trusts Biden to pick the best candidate he believes can help take on Trump in November.
“Who knows what my future holds. I want to serve my country. I want to make a difference in the lives of people that are left out of the equation,” he said. “Wherever I can do that from, I’m gonna do it.”
His comments echoed a tweet he posted on Monday morning, pushing that Americans “need a candidate who can best unify all of us and that is Joe Biden.”
He became the latest former 2020 candidate to endorse Biden on the same day, calling him “the statesperson in our party.”
“We know this election is not a referendum on one guy in one office, it’s a referendum on who we are and who we must be to each other,” Booker added.
In Flint, Michigan, Cory Booker calls Joe Biden "the statesperson in our party."
— ABC News (@ABC) March 9, 2020
While he ended his own presidential campaign on Jan. 13, he promised to do “everything in my power to elect the eventual Democratic nominee for president.”
Prior to Booker’s announcement, Biden netted the endorsement of several former candidates, including: former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke, billionaire Mike Bloomberg, California Sen. Kamala Harris, Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan and former Maryland Rep. John Delaney; while his rival Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders has been endorsed by political activist Marianne Williamson and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.
Sanders and Biden face their second round of major voting on Tuesday, where 352 Democratic delegates are up for grabs across six states.
And as the race to the White House turns a pivotal corner amid coronavirus fears, the candidates still appear to be proceeding full speed ahead with their campaigns.
Booker told The View that the novel coronavirus has been a “challenge” for everyone, and he respects Biden and Sanders’ efforts during campaign events.
“One thing that I noticed right away that Joe Biden’s campaign has done is they didn’t do any rope lines yesterday,” Booker said of Biden’s campaign event in Flint, Michigan. “The people around Joe Biden are really doing very respectful conscientious things that we all should be doing when it comes to common sense — social distancing if possible and not taking risks that are unnecessary.”
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