Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerRand Paul introduces bill to end no-knock warrants Black lawmakers unveil bill to remove Confederate statues from Capitol Harris grapples with defund the police movement amid veep talk MORE (D-N.J.) said his opponent in the Democratic presidential primary former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenHillicon Valley: Biden calls on Facebook to change political speech rules | Dems demand hearings after Georgia election chaos | Microsoft stops selling facial recognition tech to police Trump finalizing executive order calling on police to use ‘force with compassion’ The Hill’s Campaign Report: Biden campaign goes on offensive against Facebook MORE is further dividing the country and hurting some Americans with his rhetoric. 

“Right now, the vice president is not doing a good job at bringing folks together. In fact, he’s causing – and I’ve heard this from people all around the country – he’s causing a  lot of frustration and even pain with his words,” Booker said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” 

Booker was among the first and most forceful to speak out against Biden’s statements earlier this month about his past cordial relationship with segregationist senators. The day after Biden made the remarks at a fundraiser Booker called him to apologize. Biden has so far declined to do so and called the outcry over the issue a distortion of his civil rights record.ADVERTISEMENT

“Whoever our nominee is going to be … needs to be someone who can talk openly and honestly about race with vulnerability. I’m not sure the vice president is up to that task,” Booker said Sunday. 

Booker said Biden’s record doesn’t necessarily disqualify him as a candidate in 2020, but to move past it the vice president has to speak “openly with vulnerability” about his mistakes. 

“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.

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