At the Democratic debate Wednesday, Cory Booker had a colorful response to criticism of his record as mayor of Newark, New Jersey from Joe Biden.
After disagreeing over immigration, the New Jersey senator and former vice president dinged each other’s records on criminal justice, with Booker calling out Biden’s support for a crime bill he said has devastated predominantly minority communities, including those he represents. Biden then responded by attacking Booker’s tenure as mayor of Newark, which Biden said included a zero tolerance stop-and-frisk policy.
That’s when Booker offered up this folksy reply: “Mr. Vice President, there’s a saying in my community. You’re dipping into the Kool-Aid and you don’t even know the flavor.” Oh yeah!
“Sir, you are trying to shift the view from what you created,” Booker then said directly to Biden. “There are people right now in prison for life for drug offenses because you stood up and used that ‘tough on crime’ phony rhetoric that got a lot of people elected and destroyed communities like mine.”
“This isn’t about the past, sir. This is about the present, right now … I believe in redemption, you have offered no redemption,” Booker added.
Following the back and forth with Biden, Booker’s official Twitter account shared a link to his policy proposals, which includes the decriminalization of marijuana, the lessening of harsh minimums and extreme sentencing, and better law enforcement training.
Meanwhile, Biden’s official account tweeted that the candidate “will strengthen America’s commitment to justice and reform by taking action to reduce our prison population, address racial disparities, and make our communities safer.” There was no comment about Kool-Aid, however.
Watch the “Kool-Aid” moment below:
BOOKER: "Mr Vice President, there's a saying in my community — you're dipping into the Kool-Aid and you don't even know the flavor." pic.twitter.com/twgjH7Bmaz
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) August 1, 2019