White House Correspondent April D. Ryan, political commentator Bakari Sellers, former Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum and political commentator Angela Rye each weighed in on Booker’s delivery of a popular phrase during a segment of CNN’s “New Day” on Thursday.
During a spat over criminal justice reform on Wednesday night, Booker turned to former Vice President Joe Biden on the debate stage and said: “Mr. Vice President, there’s a saying in my community, you’re dipping into the Kool-Aid and you don’t even know the flavor.”
“Sen. Booker, you know I love you, man, but I could just see you going, ‘Oh this is my time … here comes the Kool-Aid!’” Rye said on the “New Day” segment with a laugh.
“With black phrases, you don’t enunciate, like, every word,” Sellers joked.
Rye also noted what many Twitter users also pointed out: “You don’t say you’re ‘dipping in the Kool-Aid’… [it’s] you all up in the Kool-Aid.”
“This is a family conversation,” Ryan added.
Prior to making his Kool-Aid quip on the debate stage, the New Jersey senator criticized Biden’s role in helping to draft the 1994 crime bill, which was signed into law by former President Bill Clinton. Biden in turn criticized Booker’s past record on crime policies when he was the mayor of Newark, New Jersey, years ago.
While Wednesday’s Democratic primary debate sparked wide conversations on policies — and memes — on Twitter, Booker’s Kool-Aid remark has continued to build traction on Twitter on Thursday.
The New Jersey senator himself responded to the panelists’ reactions to his quip in a later segment on “New Day.”
“I’m getting torn up by my fellow black people … ” he said with a laugh, later adding that he was also accused by others of “code-switching.”
“C’mon, in the heat of the debate, you get up there in front of millions of Americans, have the vice president of the United States distort your record, do it with a smile, and come back with him with a colloquialism that we use in our communities.”
Other Twitter users weighed in: