Tags: Joe Biden | cory booker | julian castro

Cory Booker Backs Julián Castro on Biden Debate Move

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(David J. Phillip/AP)

By    |   Friday, 13 September 2019 11:59 AM

Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., said late Thursday that fellow Democratic debate participant Julián Castro had "legitimate concerns" in challenging former Vice President Joe Biden on his memory — saying that he had his own worries about whether Biden can "carry the ball" during the 2020 campaign.

"We are at a tough point right now, because there are a lot of people who are concerned about Joe Biden's ability to carry the ball all the way across the end line without fumbling," Booker told CNN's Erin Burnett after the third Democratic debate in Houston.

"I think that Castro has some legitimate concerns about, can he be someone in a long, grueling campaign that can get the ball over the line. He has every right to call that out."

Castro, 44, who served as Housing and Urban Development secretary in the Obama White House, ripped Biden, 76, on his mental acuity during an exchange about health care during the debate at Texas Southern University.

Biden denied that his health plan required people to buy into Medicare — and Castro shot back, "Are you forgetting what you said two minutes ago?"

Castro, the former San Antonio mayor, defended his move Friday, telling CNN's John Berman that "I wouldn't do it differently.

"That was not a personal attack," he added. "The vice president is, you know, I mean, he's been around for a long time, OK?

"When we're up there, we're up there to debate," Castro said.

In his interview with Burnett, however, Booker cautioned: "I do think that tone and tenor are really important.

"We can respect [Vice] President Biden and disagree with him," he added. "We shouldn't do things that at the end of this, when you demonize somebody and create bad blood, it's hard to unify afterwards."

Still, Booker also refused to say whether Biden was too old to be president.

"No, I’m definitely not saying that," he said in response to Burnett's question. "I've listened to Joe Biden over the years and often felt like there were times that he is going on or meandering in his speech.

"Look, I want someone that can exit and can energize like we saw in '08 and '12," he continued, referring to former President Barack Obama's campaigns. "If I believed Joe Biden was that person, I wouldn't be sitting here."

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Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., said late Thursday that fellow Democratic debate participant Julián Castro had "legitimate concerns" in challenging former Vice President Joe Biden on his memory — saying that he had his own worries about Biden.
cory booker, julian castro
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2019-59-13
Friday, 13 September 2019 11:59 AM
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