A week after putting out a mid-September plea for donations in order to stay in the presidential race, Sen. Cory Booker’s campaign announced it had reached the DNC’s donor threshold for the 5th presidential debate, which is next month.

But while Booker has managed to qualify for the next two debates, he has remained in the lower tier of presidential candidates since he formally declared his candidacy back in February, outside of one poll released shortly after his announcement (which showed him at 9%).

So with time running out before the primaries start and his campaign continuing to go nowhere, what’s a guy to do? Ride to the defense of a top tier candidate who could make you their vice presidential pick if they win the nomination.

Booker, who infamously compared himself to Spartacus during the Brett Kavanaugh SCOTUS confirmation hearings last year, appeared on CNN Sunday to talk impeachment and Trump’s Ukraine allegations against Joe Biden.

Here’s what Booker said when asked about the Trump/Biden Ukraine issue:

“I’ve said time and time again that this is unacceptable, that if you come after Joe Biden, you’re going to have to deal with me in this case. There is no — as you said — these are baseless, unfounded, scurrilous lies, plain and simple, trying to undermine the character of one of the statesmen of our country, not our party, but our country. And so, yeah, you’ve got a problem with me,” Booker told CNN’s Ana Cabrera on “Newsroom.”

“I can’t speak for this in a political context,” the New Jersey senator added. “This is just me as an American to see these kinds of attacks and whether it’s the lies this President tells about Joe Biden, or lies that he tells about other American citizens, to demean and denigrate them.”

Watch Booker act in the role of Joe Biden’s bodyguard after months of insinuating he was out of touch and a racist over his stance on forced busing and working with segregationist senators back in the 1970s:

Booker is not the only lower tier presidential candidate who has flip flopped when it comes to attacking Joe Biden. President Obama’s HUD Secretary Julian Castro, who insinuated the former veep was senile and not carrying on the Obama legacy at the last debate, had this to say this week on the Ukraine attacks against him:

CASTRO: I believe that Trump is trying to do to Joe Biden what he did to Hillary Clinton, that he’s trying to take a public servant that has served honorably over the years and muddy their reputation with false accusations that, in this case, have been investigated.

To me, there are plenty of reasons for people to make a decision in this primary. I hope that in this Democratic primary, they’re going to do that about the issues. I disagree with Vice President Biden on immigration, on health care, as people saw at the last debate, and a number of other issues. But I believe that he’s fundamentally an honest and honorable man.

Watch:

Sen. Kamala Harris had a breakout moment in the first presidential debate when she broadsided Biden over the busing and segregationist senators issue. But her campaign has been in a freefall since mid-July and she has struggled (and failed) to regain her footing in a crowded field. Like Booker and Castro, Harris was a relentless critic of Biden’s until recently. Here are two answers she’s given in the last week on the Biden/Ukraine allegations:

I think in light of their about-face on Joe Biden, these three struggling candidates have made it very clear: The veepstakes are on.

— Stacey Matthews has also written under the pseudonym “Sister Toldjah” and can be reached via Twitter. —

 
 
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