Biden has been in the headlines since Tuesday night when he commented about his working relationship with segregationist Sens. James O. Eastland (D-Miss.) and Herman Talmadge (D-Ga.) while in the Senate.
According to reports, Biden joked about Eastland calling him “son” instead of “boy,” a remark that has earned him backlash from many. The former vice president made it worse by noting that he believed working with segregationists proved his civility.
“At least there was some civility,” Biden said. “We got things done.”
“You don’t joke about calling black men ‘boys,'” Booker said in a statement. “Men like James O. Eastland used words like that, and the racist policies that accompanied them, to perpetuate white supremacy and strip black Americans of our very humanity.”
Booker demanded an apology from Biden for his comments.
During an interview on MSNBC, McCaskill noted that she understood why Booker was frustrated but claimed that he is as guilty as Biden because he has worked with people like Cruz and former Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
Watch McCaskill’s comments:
“Well, first of all, they’re both good friends of mine. Cory is one of my dear friends, and so is Joe. But let’s get some context here. The things we really care about — immigration reform, the kind of criminal justice reform that we still need to reach for, climate change — you got to have 60 votes in the Senate. End of discussion. You don’t get 60 votes, we’re not getting big stuff done that’s important to people that we care about because we can’t get to 60 votes. Biden is trying to convey that he can work with really creepy, stinky people. And by the way, Cory Booker worked with Jeff Sessions, and AOC [Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.)] is working with Ted Cruz. These are pretty stinky, creepy people themselves, right?”
McCaskill noted that it was a “big mistake” for Biden to use segregationists as the example but claimed that those criticizing him could just be looking for “their moment” on television.
As McCaskill noted, Cruz and Ocasio-Cortez have discussed working on a few bills together, including legalizing over-the-counter birth control and barring members of Congress from serving as lobbyists after their term.