- Sen. Cory Booker, a 2020 rival of Biden's, wants an apology: "You don't joke about calling black men 'boys.' 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," he said in a statement. Biden's "relationships with proud segregationists are not the model for how we make America a safer and more inclusive place for black people, and for everyone."
- New York Mayor Mayor Bill de Blasio, another Democratic candidate, posted a photo of his multiracial family on Twitter. Biden "is longing for the good old days of 'civility' typified by James Eastland," de Blasio wrote. "Eastland thought my multiracial family should be illegal."
- Connie Schultz, a journalist married to Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio, tweeted, "There is no punchline here, no emoji or funny meme to soften the harm of your words. That segregationist never called you 'boy' because you are white. If you want to boast about your relationship with a racist, you are not who we need to succeed the racist in the White House."
Biden's campaign declined Wednesday to elaborate on his remarks. In the past, advisers had cautioned him not to cite Eastland as an example of someone he could work with, per CNN
. One person close to the candidate said, "He needs to use a new, less problematic example." (Read more Joe Biden 2020