Sen. Cory Booker appeared to dismiss Joe Biden’s new plan to combat mass incarceration and disparities in the criminal justice system, saying in a Tuesday morning tweet that did not name the former vice president that promises are “not enough.”
“It’s not enough to tell us what you’re going to do for our communities, show us what you’ve done for the last 40 years,” Booker wrote in what appeared to be a subtweet of his Democratic 2020 rival. “You created this system. We’ll dismantle it.”
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Biden released a proposal Tuesday that includes reforming the juvenile justice system, eliminating discrepancies in sentencing for convictions related to powder and crack cocaine, scrapping mandatory minimum sentences and ending the death penalty.
Parts of the plan shift from his previous stances as a tough-on-crime Democrat in the 1990s, a record that has drawn attacks from fellow candidates and progressives.
Booker has been one critic of Biden’s record. Last week, he said he was “stunned” it took Biden so long to apologize for the 1994 crime bill, which many Democrats now say led to mass incarceration. Booker also condemned the vice president’s remarks about working with segregationist senators, and then he said he felt disrespected by Biden’s reaction to his criticism.
Booker was one of the first 2020 candidates to call for an apology over the comments about segregationists, and Biden reacted by saying the senator should apologize instead: “He knows better. There’s not a racist bone in my body.”
Biden and Booker will share the stage on the second night of the July Democratic debates. They will be accompanied by Sen. Kamala Harris, who exchanged a heated back-and-forth with Biden on busing and segregation during last month’s debates.