Sen. Cory Booker has thrown his hat into the ring of Democratic candidates for president. His campaign video dropped Friday, the first day of Black History Month. On it, the New Jersey Senator can be seen walking through his Newark neighborhood talking about his candidacy.
“The history of our nation is defined by collective action; by interwoven destinies of slaves and abolitionists; of those born here and those who chose America as home; of those who took up arms to defend our country, and those who linked arms to challenge and change it,” he said. “I’m Cory Booker and I’m running for president of the United States of America.”
See the campaign video below:
Booker’s announcement came about a week after California Sen. Kamala Harris threw her presidential hat in the ring and said she would be running for the White House.
Booker is certainly an enemy of Trump who has been attacking the New Jersey Senator for years. But it was perhaps Booker’s role on the Senate Judiciary Committee that may have compelled him most to run for president after he saw firsthand the types of judges Trump has been pushing to be confirmed.
While he has always been a prominent voice in the Senate, Booker raised his political profile significantly during the Senate confirmation hearing for Brett Kavanaugh, who was nominated by Trump and ultimately confirmed as a Supreme Court Justice despite a damning sexual abuse scandal that resurfaced from his past.
Booker was also behind the introduction and Senate passing of the landmark legislation last year to finally outlaw lynching. Booker, Harris and Republican Sen. Tim Scott introduced the Justice for Victims of Lynching Act of 2018 in June. The bill called for a life sentence for those found guilty on federal anti-lynching charges.
After helping to draft the legislation in June, Booker criticized Congress for taking so long—even after the civil rights movement—to pass anti-lynching legislation.
“It’s a travesty that despite repeated attempts to do so, Congress still hasn’t put anti-lynching legislation on the books. This bill will right historical wrongs by acknowledging our country’s stained past and codifying into law our commitment to abolishing this shameful practice,” he said in a statement.
Booker should also expect to be hit hard on his relationship with pharmaceutical companies. Back in 2017, he reportedly joined Republicans to vote against lowering prescription drug prices.
“This is classic Booker — stand out front on feel-good social issues, regardless of his past positions, and align with big money everywhere else,” Walter Bragman at Paste Magazine wrote.
Like all of the candidates, he will have much to answer for. See the reactions from Twitter below:
I’ve known Cory Booker for 15 years. He’s a phenomenal human being with a compassionate heart, a life-long committment to justice and an unwavering belief that together we will rise.— Michael Skolnik (@MichaelSkolnik) February 1, 2019
I’m proud to call him my friend and I’m thrilled that he’s running for President.
Go Cory Go! pic.twitter.com/oUR1CfWbaE
Kamala Harris announced on MLK Day; Cory Booker announces on the first day of Black History Month!— ¡Madam Auntie Vice President Kamala Harris! (@flywithkamala) February 1, 2019
We have two fine Black candidates and four women candidates so far. This 2020 presidential election is historic! Let’s remember to unite behind the eventual winner no matter what!!
Soon the news will be who is NOT running because that will be a shorter list!: “Cory Booker launches bid for president” https://t.co/AZ7BTqWmlv— Maya Wiley (@mayawiley) February 1, 2019
As a new American citizen, i can finally vote and i am reallly happy to support an exciting democratic candidate, Cory Booker. #cory2020— Ben L (@snoylnimajneb) February 1, 2019
I just chipped in to @CoryBooker's campaign, you should join me: " https://t.co/CplfkwMW4I
Cory Booker is a black man and he has the word “book” in his name so Trump must really hate him.— The Volatile Mermaid (@OhNoSheTwitnt) February 1, 2019
I have always been a Cory Booker fan. It feels as if he is starting rather far behind. But I like what he is about and hopefully he can be a contender in the primary. #2020— Marcus H. Johnson (@marcushjohnson) February 1, 2019
Cory Booker is running for 2020 president he couldn’t fix all the problems &crisis in Newark NJ as a mayor he let this town on the ground and now he want to be President to break down America 👎👎— Juan Manuel Gonzalez (@jmglez24) February 1, 2019
Cory Booker is the original Twitter politician. If residents of Newark, New Jersey wanted potholes repaired they tweeted then Mayor Booker and he responded. Hope he can do same if he becomes President.— Mark Nakata (@mrnonel) February 1, 2019