Democratic New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker had barely finished defending former Vice President Joe Biden when he attacked him Wednesday, suggesting he was not a “dynamic leader.”
“The way I see it, you’re positioning yourself or pitching yourself as an alternative to Joe Biden, as a moderate Democrat, right? Am I right?” Behar asked.
“I’m positioning myself as a person that can bring all sections of our party together,” Booker’s response was diplomatic. (RELATED: Meghan McCain Asks Cory Booker 5 Times About Gun Buybacks, He Wants To Talk About Other Things)
Behar protested, “He’s like that too though.”
“Okay,” Booker agreed.
“You guys are similar in that, I think,” Behar insisted.
“Yes. I’m the younger version with less hair,” Booker laughed.
“But here’s my question. What exactly is the biggest difference between you and Joe Biden then in that case?”
Booker tried to highlight policy differences, referencing mass incarceration and appearing to take a veiled swipe at Biden’s support for the 1994 crime bill.
“What about another topic?” Behar pressed.
Booker pivoted to his experience as mayor of Newark, New Jersey. “When it comes to transformative change, I was a chief executive in a city in the worst economic crisis we have seen since the Great Depression. We transformed the outcomes,” he explained.
Behar again touted Biden’s record, saying, “He was part of a team with Obama who had a terrible deficit, and brought us back to life.”
“If Obama was on that stage, I wouldn’t be. Obama’s not running,” Booker protested, offering to defend Biden while in the same breath suggesting he wasn’t “dynamic” as a leader. “I think my strength over Joe Biden — I respect him. I think anyone that wants to tear down his character, I will fight against you, but I’m running because this country needs a dynamic leader who can inspire and engage the electorate.”
“The implication of what you are saying is he’s not dynamic,” Behar noticed. “And you are. That’s what it sounds like.”
Booker clarified, saying, “I feel like I’m the better candidate to him or else I would not be running. I think we need to have somebody who can excite the whole breadth of the electorate. Beating Donald Trump is the floor, not the ceiling.”