Former Vice President Joe Biden will have to "own up to what he did" in the past if he becomes the Democratic nominee, Sen. Cory Booker said Thursday while following up on the debate argument they had concerning Biden's support of a controversial 1994 federal crime bill.
"He did it with the Iraq war last night," the New Jersey Democrat told MSNBC's "Morning Joe." "He said 'I made a mistake,' and was just very direct about that."
Booker noted that he was mayor of Newark at the time "we were building a new jail or system every five days" while the city's infrastructure was crumbling.
The bill affected, "overwhelmingly the poor, addicted, mentally ill and black and brown people," Booker said.
"No, I don't think he has had the courage to look the American public in the eye and say this was wildly wrong, it cost us billions of dollars," said Booker. "It chewed up human potential. If you want to appeal to communities like mine where I live or communities like this in Detroit...we have to have leaders that can stand up and speak to the past."
Booker also defended the debate attacks on former President Barack Obama's policies, as there are "substantive issues to discuss."
"Our immigration system is savagely broken," said Booker. "So many things that are happening that just aren't common sense."
He added that Obama has been his party's "statesman," but no administration is not without criticism.
The senator also said Thursday that polls that show Biden as a front-runner are a premature way to judge who will be the eventual nominee.
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