2020 presidential candidate Cory Booker addressed his recent criticism of former Vice President Joe Biden on NBC's "Meet the Press" Sunday, arguing that Biden's "inability to talk candidly" about mistakes in his voting record makes it difficult to see him uniting the country as the Democratic nominee.

"A lot of Democrats that were involved with the 1994 crime bill have spoken very openly with vulnerability, talking about their mistakes. So that doesn't disqualify you. But what we've seen from the vice president over the last month is an inability to talk candidly about the mistakes he made, about things he could have done better, about how some of the decisions he made at the time in difficult context actually have resulted in really bad outcomes.
And this is a bad culture where you can't admit mistakes, where you can't speak to your vulnerabilities and your imperfections. We all have them, but when it comes to difficult issues with race, if you can't talk openly and honestly about your own development on these issues, I think it's very hard to lead our country forward so that we actually can deal with our past and rise to a better common cause and common future."

Why it matters: Booker's comments reflect a broader criticism of Biden's weaknesses as a candidate, which go beyond the recent missteps on race that Sen. Kamala Harris targeted in last week's viral debate exchange.

  • Whether it's his treatment of Anita Hill in Justice Clarence Thomas' 1991 confirmation hearing or the allegations of inappropriate touching that threatened to derail his campaign early on, Biden's reluctance to unequivocally apologize for past mistakes has been a source of significant criticism.
  • Biden's decades-long public record has and will continue to leave him vulnerable to attacks from within a Democratic Party that has moved significantly to the left since he was first elected to the Senate in 1972.

Go deeper: Biden's race backlash

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Updated 25 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3:30 a.m. ET: 18,814,178 — Total deaths: 707,754— Total recoveries — 11,361,953Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3:30 a.m. ET: 4,823,891 — Total deaths: 158,256 — Total recoveries: 1,577,851 — Total tests: 58,920,975Map.
  3. Public health: Florida surpasses 500,000 confirmed casesFauci calls U.S. coronavirus testing delays "totally unacceptable."
  4. Business: America's next housing crisis.
  5. States: Virginia launches contact tracing app using specs from Apple and Google.
  6. Cities: L.A. mayor authorizes utilities shut-off at homes hosting large gatherings
  7. Politics: White House, Democrats remain "trillions of dollars apart" on stimulus talks.
36 mins ago - World

Hiroshima mayor warns of rise of nationalism on 75th anniversary

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (C) at the Memorial Cenotaph in the Peace Memorial Park during the 75th anniversary service for atomic bomb victims in Hiroshima, Japan, on Thursday. Photo: Philip Fong/AFP via Getty Images

Hiroshima's Mayor Kazumi Matsui on Thursday urged the international community to work together to defeat the coronavirus pandemic and warned against an increase in "self-centered nationalism," per the Washington Post.

Why it matters: He said at a remembrance service on the atomic bombing of the Japanese city that the 1918 flu pandemic killed millions as countries fighting in World War I were unable to overcome the threat together, per DPR. "A subsequent upsurge in nationalism led to World War II," he added. The U.S. bombing of Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945 and Nagasaki three days later contributed to the end of World War II, but tens of thousands of people died. At the service, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe lamented nuclear weapons' "inhumanity," but he didn't mention Japan's wartime past, WashPost noted.

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LeBron James on Trump NBA protest remarks: "We could care less"

The Los Angeles Lakers' LeBron James kneels during the national anthem before the game against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, on Wednesday. Photo: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

LeBron James responded on Wednesday night to President Trump's comments calling NBA players "disgraceful" for kneeling during the national anthem to protest racism and that he won't watch games because of the action.

The big picture: Trump has repeatedly criticized sports players for taking the knee since 2016. But James said during a news conference, "I really don’t think the basketball community are sad about losing his viewership, him viewing the game." November's elections marked "a big moment for us as Americans," he said. "If we continue to talk about, 'We want better, we want change,' we have an opportunity to do that," he added. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has said the league will "respect peaceful protest."

Go deeper: LeBron James forms voting rights group to inspire Black voters