As voters began to cast their ballots in six more states on Tuesday, Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) went on The View to explain why he has decided to endorse former Vice President Joe Biden. But he also used the appearance to send a message to supporters of Bernie Sanders who may be forced to choose between Biden and Donald Trump in November.
“I started this journey, not just because of the policy ideas but because I really felt like our country needed unity again. We needed to stop hating each other,” Booker said. “We’re a nation that’s so much stronger when we find common ground and common purpose.”
Booker went on to say by reaching out to independents and moderates, he believes Biden “has the best chance of not only beating Donald Trump but of beginning to heal the country.”
As co-host Sunny Hostin noted, the endorsement is quite an “about-face” considering his past criticisms of Biden. Most notably, during a debate last August, he told Biden that when it comes to racial justice, “You’re dipping into the Kool-Aid and you don’t know the flavor.”
“Nothing’s changed,” Booker insisted, explaining that he “actually bonded” with Biden during the campaign. “We had some exchanges, but they were always done with a sense of dignity, not trying to tear down the character of the other person,” he said.
Specifically, he said the “Kool-Aid” critique was delivered with “humor and grace,” adding, “this is something we need right now.” The senator seemed to be referring to the growing animosity between the two remaining campaigns, much of it coming from Bernie Sanders’ most fervent supporters.
“We have this cancel culture that’s going on where we tear each other down, where we judge each other by our lowest points in our histories,” Booker said, “as opposed to trying to elevate everybody to a higher point in history for us all collectively.”
That “doesn’t mean we have to agree or like each other,” he continued, “but we have to understand that we need each other, that we are each other’s hope for a brighter future.”
“Joe embodies those ideals the best in this race right now,” Booker said. “He ain’t perfect, but I think he’s the guy that’s going to help us create a more perfect union.”
Whether or not Sanders fans will be willing to accept a less than “perfect” candidate in a potential general election matchup against Donald Trump is one of many big questions yet to be answered in this campaign.
Later in the interview, when Joy Behar asked Booker, “What’s your problem with Bernie?” the senator insisted he doesn’t have one.
“Again, this is not about affection, which I have deeply for him,” he said. “It’s not about knocking him down. It’s about me looking at the field and picking the absolute best person that can unify Democrats, that reach out to the most Americans. “We’ve got one shot to make Donald Trump a one-term president.” He repeated: “One shot.”