Sen. Cory Booker (N.J.) slammed Joe Biden Wednesday for not saying whether he advised former President Barack Obama against mass deportations while he was serving as his vice president.
During the CNN debate, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D.) pressed Biden on whether he attempted to intervene and persuade Obama against mass deportations, but he dodged the question. A few minutes later, de Blasio followed up again to ask him about the deportations.
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"I don't hear an answer from the vice president. I'm confused. I ask the vice president point-blank did he use his power to stop those deportations. He went right around the question. Mr. Vice President, you want to be President of the United States," de Blasio said. "Did you say those deportations were a good idea or did you go to the president and say, ‘This is a mistake. We shouldn't do it.' Which one?"
"I was vice president. I am not the president. I keep my recommendations in private. Unlike you, I expect you would go ahead and say whatever was said privately with him. That is not what I do," Biden said. "What I do say to you is he moved to fundamentally change the system. That's what he did, but much more has to be done. Much more has to be done."
Booker followed up Biden's response and slammed him for trying to play his relationship with Obama "both ways."
"Mr. Vice President, you can't have it both ways. You invoke President Obama more than anybody in this campaign. You can't do it when it's convenient and then dodge it when it's not," Booker said.
Booker took a shot at Biden for comments earlier in the night. Booker said Biden is "playing into what the Republicans want" by saying immigrants with Ph.D.’s should get a seven-year green card.
"This really irks me, because I heard the vice president say that if you’ve got a Ph.D. you can come right into this country, well that’s playing into what the Republicans want, to pit some immigrants against other immigrants, some are from s—thole countries, and some are from worthy countries," Booker said.
Biden has come under fire in recent weeks for the Obama administration's mass deportations of 3 million people, according to Politico.
Joe Enriquez Henry, the vice president of the Midwestern region of the League of United Latin American Citizens, said, "Biden needs to make it clear, if he wants to be president, that he has compassion and understanding and he needs to ask for forgiveness."