Election 2020

Booker Presidential Campaign Theme: 'A Revival of Civic Grace'

Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) speaks during a news conference outside of his home on Feb. 1, 2019, in Newark, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) said today that a “major theme” of his presidential campaign is going to be “a revival of civic grace.”

The senator announced his presidential run Friday, the first day of Black History Month, in front of his New Jersey home.

Booker was asked by a reporter at the launch if he believes President Trump is a racist. “I don’t know the heart of anybody. I’ll leave that to the Lord, … I know there are a lot of people who profess the ideology of white supremacy that use his words,” Booker replied.

Trump told CBS’ Face the Nation in an interview aired Sunday that he believes Booker has “got no chance” of becoming president.

“Because I know him. I don’t think he has a chance,” Trump elaborated.

Booker told CBS this morning that “every American knows about being underestimated, demeaned, or just put down.”

“And it’s something I’ve faced all my political career, having — in Newark going up against the machine. And so, look, history of our country, the history of people underestimating this nation and we doing impossible things,” he added. “So, we don’t need a president that’s going to put down people or divide people. This is really one of those times in American history I think we need a revival of civic grace and bringing people together. And that’s going to be one of the major themes of my campaign.”

Booker argued that there is “so much common pain in America” and “what we’ve lost is that sense of common purpose.”

“And so, more than ever we need a leadership that’s going to remind people that we have a common urgency in this country. We have to find ways of putting indivisible back in this one nation,” he said.

The former Newark mayor said “Republican farmers” and independents across the country have told him they back a Medicare-for-all plan.

“Everybody agrees that the United States of America, we should never have somebody who does not get access to care because they can’t afford it. This idea that healthcare is a right is popular on both sides of the aisle,” Booker said.

“I know there’s pathways that are supported by the majority of Americans that massively expand access to healthcare and lower the costs. And that’s what we need to be focused on. Where is that common ground?”