Joe Biden returns criticism to Booker, Harris a week before Democratic debate

The former veep says he isn't standing for attacks this time around, and has something to say to his detractors


With just a week left before taking the debate-stage, former Vice President Joe Biden took aim at fellow Democratic 2020 candidates, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker and California Sen. Kamala Harris., CNN reported.

In response to Booker referring to him as the “architect of mass incarceration,” Biden called out Booker’s mayoral record, specifically the practices of the Newark police department.

“His police department was stopping and frisking people, mostly African American men,” Biden said adding that Booker opposed the idea of federal assistance to help in the matters.

READ MORE: Harris and Biden get rematch in second Democratic debate; while others try to survive

Biden also subliminally took aim at Harris and her support of the Medicare-for-All proposal and the perceived contradiction of making it happen without a middle-class tax hike, according to CNN.

“Come on. I mean, what is this? Is this a fantasy world here?” Biden told reporters after a Michigan campaign stop.

It is believed the retorts from Biden are a defense to being the front runner in a heated and stacked Democratic race card. All three will be sharing a stage in Detroit during the second night of the CNN hosted Democratic Presidential Debate.

During the previous debate, Harris strongly criticized Biden on his record on school busing in the 1970s and on his praise for politicians who had once been segregationists.

READ MORE: Top 5 winning moments from Sen. Kamala Harris during her first 2020 Democratic Debate

Polls show Harris had a polls climb after she targeted Biden in the first debate and Booker is appearing to gear up for a call out of Biden’s criminal justice record. Biden is preparing for attacks at him during this round, stating “I’m not going to be as polite this time,” during a fundraiser.

Biden also called out a contradiction with Harris, citing she wanted his support for nominating her at a past convention.

Biden’s adjustment is different from his previous stance from weeks ago when he said he didn’t want to take part in mud-slinging: “I’m just not going to go there.”
Now, Biden’s sentiment is:  “If they want to argue about the past, I can do that.”

Biden has been frequently called out over his 1994 crime bill, which created an assault weapons ban, placed 100,000 new officers on the street, the Violence Against Women Act and most notably expanded the federal death penalty and evoked harsher sentences. The terms of this bill also included the three strikes law and mandatory life sentences for people with three federal violent crime or drug convictions.

Now, Biden is promoting his criminal justice reform plan which targets reduction incarceration and vows to reduce and pardon sentences for non-violent drug offenses.

Appearing alongside Biden, Booker, and Harris for the Wednesday, July 31 debates are Michael Bennet, Bill de Blasio, Julián Castro, Tulsi Gabbard, Kirsten Gillibrand, Jay Inslee, and Andrew Yang.

The Tuesday, July 30 Democratic Debates will have Steve Bullock, Pete Buttigieg, John Delaney, John Hickenlooper, Amy Klobuchar, Beto O’Rourke, Tim Ryan, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Marianne Williamson.