Entries in Cory Booker (14)


Newark Mayor Cory Booker Formally Announces Senate Bid

Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images(TRENTON, N.J.) -- Newark Mayor Cory Booker announced on Saturday that he will seek the Senate seat made vacant when Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., died earlier this week.

“I’m here today to officially announce my candidacy to be New Jersey’s next United States senator,” Booker said in a news conference. “Democracy is not a spectator sport, but now as much as in any time, we must bring people together. We must actually get into the complicated difficult messy arena and take on the difficult challenges, work in uncommon ways with conviction and courage.”

Booker, who has served as mayor of Newark for seven years, praised Lautenberg for his service and leadership in New Jersey and the Senate.

“As a senator and as a citizen, he has been one of the most impactful New Jerseyans. He was truly a giant in the United States Senate. He was a giant for our state and a giant for our nation from his service in World War II to his assiduous work and advocacy in the U.S. Senate,” he said. “Generations yet unborn will feel the impact of his leadership and contributions.”

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie set the date for the special election to fill Lautenberg’s seat for Oct. 16, three weeks before Christie faces re-election himself. On Thursday, Christie appointed state Attorney General Jeff Chiesa, a Republican, as interim senator, but Chiesa does not plan on running in the special election this year. The Democratic primary for the seat will be held in August.

Booker, 44, is well known for his heroic acts as well as for his active Twitter account. He said on Saturday he’s often been criticized for his tweeting, but that will not deter him.

“Too much Twitter from the mayor, too much exposure — there is not a criticism I haven’t heard over the years. I’ve heard it all but, there’s one thing that everyone has to admit about my life as a professional,” he said. “I do not run from challenges. I run towards them.”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Cory Booker Jokes Mayor Job Drove Him to Drink — Coffee That Is

Cindy Ord/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Newark, New Jersey Mayor Cory Booker answered viewer questions from Facebook and Twitter for an ABC News’ web exclusive before joining the This Week roundtable on Sunday.  After Booker discussed his future Senate plans, his time as Newark mayor, and his Twitter routine, he admitted to a few other personal habits.  He believes that his job “drove him to drink” - but coffee is the vice in question.

“I did not drink coffee before this job. I always say this job drove me to drink,” Booker joked.

Read More Below:

How many hours a day do you spend on Twitter?

“I guess it’s so seamless that I don’t really think about it that way. So it’s like going from meeting to meeting, or waiting for people to come into the office. A lot of it happens in the early morning when I wake up or late at night, which gives a lot of my followers this idea that I don’t sleep. But if I wake up… like this morning around four o’clock, I’ll start checking my Twitter and responding to people.”

Do you feel you can take a day off from tweeting?

“You know, it’s so integrated. It’s like saying ‘do I want to take a day off from talking or do I want to take a day off from connecting to people.’ And I’ve looked at the averages, maybe sometimes 15, 20 tweets a day. Sometimes it goes down, sometimes it goes up depending on what’s going on. But… this is the democratization of our democracy in a weird way. Because so many forces are pulling people away, leaders away from the people, special interest groups, money in politics, creating more of an elite environment. But I think that social media has a chance to pull people back and have politicians far more accessible, far more transparent, far more connected, and ultimately move from a hierarchical society to a level playing field.”

What are your thoughts on ‘Clinton/Booker 2016′?

“Unless Clinton/Booker 2016 is some kind of new rock band that might be coming out… look, at the end of the day in life, purpose is far more important than position. And so many of us lose sight of where we are by looking at where we’re going to go. So right now I’m mayor of the city of Newark and I love what I’m doing. In many ways, this is my highest aspiration in terms of having a job where I can really help people. The next thing I’m thinking about doing next year is possibly running for the United States Senate. But I think when you start going further… from that, it starts to get a little absurd.”

What do you believe is your best policy achievement as mayor?

“I think the best thing you can say, and it’s less policy and more spirit, is that we’ve taken a city that used to be disregarded, disrespected, and just plain dissed, that was losing population, losing tax base, losing business, and now we’ve reversed those trends. Now people really have a lot of respect for Newark. First time in 60 years our population is growing. Our tax base is growing. The first new hotels in our downtown in 40 years. First new office towers in decades. So creating jobs at a pretty dramatic clip for our residents.”


Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Rep. Frank Pallone to Challenge Cory Booker for NJ Sen. Lautenberg’s Seat?

Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Sen. Frank Lautenberg’s decision Thursday not to seek another term paves the way for Newark Mayor Cory Booker to run for Senate without a primary fight against the 89-year-old. But that doesn’t mean Booker will walk to the nomination.

In an interview with ABC News, Rep. Frank Pallone, D-N.J., stressed that “today is Senator Lautenberg’s day,” but did acknowledge that he is going to explore a bid for U.S. Senate.

“I’ll tell you this, it obviously changes the political landscape,” Pallone said. “I’ve always been interested in the Senate and it’s something I’m going to continue to explore.”

Pallone, 61, is from New Jersey’s 6th district and has been in office since 1989. He wouldn’t answer any other questions about a possible bid, stressing he didn’t want to trample on Lautenberg’s decision, calling him a “good friend.”

“I work with him closely and he made a major impact on some of the more important issues that have faced New Jersey and the country,” Pallone said, highlighting transportation, infrastructure, and environmental issues like superfund programs and shore protection.

“To me he always epitomized the American dream,” Pallone said of Lautenberg. “He was successful financially, and then he gave back by serving as senator. He always wants to look out for the little guy and he continues to work for the American dream.”

This potential fight between Booker and Pallone is something Lautenberg himself previewed in January in an interview with the Philadelphia Inquirer, although he didn’t mention Pallone by name.

“[Booker will] have to stand on his record and I’m sure he won’t be a lone soldier out there drooling at the mouth and wanting this cushy politician's somewhat antagonistic relationship before Booker announced his intentions of running  – sort of, that is, because he then said he was still deciding — in December," Lautenberg said.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Newark, NJ Mayor Cory Booker Helps Rescue Freezing Dog

WABC/ABC News(NEWARK, N.J.) -- While out working on a story in New Jersey Thursday night, a reporter and camera crew from ABC's New York City affiliate WABC-TV noticed a dog left out in the cold.

Hours later, when they passed by again and saw that the dog was still outside, they decided to take the issue to Twitter -- and the mayor.

Reporter Toni Yates tweeted Newark, N.J. Mayor Cory Booker and WABC.  In the tweet, she applauded Newark for its heat help, but added, “Make pet owners get their dogs out of the cold.”

In another tweet, she wrote that she asked the block captain to “do something, call someone,” but doubted he would.

People began re-tweeting the messages, and soon enough the mayor was on the scene with the shivering dog.

“This is brutal weather.  This dog is shaking really bad and you just can’t leave your dogs out here on a day like this and go away and expect them to be OK,” the mayor told WABC.  “Hypothermia on any animal including a human animal will set in pretty quickly.  So this is very sad.  You can just feel the dog shaking pretty badly.”

Booker picked up the dog and put it into the back of a police car.

“If you’d crank up that heat, I’d appreciate it,” he told the police officer.

Booker, 43, called the dog’s owner and told them it was unacceptable to leave the dog outside in the freezing weather, WABC reported.

The owners said they were in Queens, N.Y., and did not know that Cha Cha had gotten outside.  They said it was an accident and thanked the mayor for saving the dog, a new mother.

Booker, who’s exploring a run for U.S. Senate, later tweeted the reporter, “Because of you that dog was rescued.  Thank you for reaching out.  Thank u for your kindness.”

This is not the first time Booker has come to the rescue.  The mayor returned home one evening in April to find flames shooting out of his neighbor’s home.  A woman screamed that her daughter was still inside.

Booker and two of his security detail ran inside to rescue the woman, who Booker said he had known for years.  He carried her out of the building over his shoulder and the woman was treated for smoke inhalation and released.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Sen. Frank Lautenberg Says Rival Could Use 'Spanking' -- This is probably not how Sen. Frank Lautenberg expected things to go down.

The New Jersey Democrat, who turns 89 on Wednesday, hasn't said whether he'll run for reelection in 2014.  In the meantime, popular Newark Mayor Cory Booker has filed papers to explore a run for the Democratic nomination, perhaps assuming that Lautenberg is ready to retire.

Previously, some aides of Lautenberg's told Politico that Booker's presumptuousness was disrespectful to a sitting senator from his own party.

And in an interview with, Lautenberg is finally speaking out about the controversy, acknowledging that Booker is "entitled" to run for his seat, then adding sarcastically that the mayor will "have to stand on his record and I'm sure he won't be a lone soldier out there drooling at the mouth and wanting this cushy job that we have here."

Lautenberg then took a not-so veiled swipe at his potential rival by saying, "I have four children, I love each one of them.  I can't tell you that one of them wasn't occasionally disrespectful, so I gave them a spanking and everything was OK."

As for the immediate future, the senator told, "I've got a lot of work to do yet, serious things and we pride ourselves (in) my office and my team (on) getting things done.  That's the focus.  I'm not thinking about the politics right now."

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


How Politicians Have Shifted with Polls on Gay Rights

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Like America, politicians have evolved on gay rights since the 1990s.

Some -- like Newark Mayor Cory Booker, who as a college student in 1992 admitted to how he once "hated gays" -- did their evolving earlier than others.

And some -- like Chuck Hagel, who will have to answer questions about his late-1990s comments about gays in the military -- had a lot more evolving to do.

But both men have moved with their country.

Acceptance of lesbians and gays has changed a lot in the past quarter of a century and the pace has quickened in recent years.

They can serve openly in the military and get married in 9 states and the District of Columbia, and a majority of Americans now supports the right of same-sex couples to marry.

A column Cory Booker wrote at the Stanford Daily while he was a student has brought headlines this week because of how it says he originally "hated gays." In the piece, which the paper re-posted this week, Booker described a gay counselor who shared with him his struggles. Booker wrote of how it struck him as similar to his black grandparents' fight for tolerance. The experience, he said, changed his attitudes on homosexuality.

The column is now 20 years old, and Booker says his attitudes are very different now. A year ago he gave a strongly-worded defense of same-sex marriage in a press conference in Newark, telling reporters, "We've created a second-class citizenship in our state." He has just announced a run for U.S. Senate.

"We have two types of citizens right now in our state: citizens like me, who, if I choose to marry somebody, I can marry somebody from a different country and they have a right to United States citizenship. I talked to somebody last night, his spouse is looking to be deported," Booker said in January 2012, according to video of the press conference. "I will be fundamentally in the fiber of my being supportive of equal citizenship for all people in this country because I know, at the end of the day, I would not be here, my family would not be able to put food on the table for me, if it wasn't for that ideal in America."

Booker's change of heart mimics those of numerous high-profile politicians and other Americans on the topic of gay rights and same-sex marriage. Recent polling shows just how much the country has changed on the topic. An ABC News-Washington Post poll in November showed that 51 percent of Americans support gay marriage, up sharply from 32 percent in mid-2004.

Brian Ellner led the successful campaign to legalize same-sex marriage in New York and said, "This is a movement about changing hearts and minds."

"We've seen incredibly swift movement in polling in terms of support for equality for lesbian and gay families in every demographic: younger Americans, older Americans, rural, urban, every ethnic group and across all religions," Ellner said. "It's been dramatic and every possible trend line goes into the right direction, which is for full equality."

President Obama's choice for defense secretary, Chuck Hagel, got into some hot water for past statements he made when it was revealed he called James Hormel, who was trying to win confirmation as the U.S. ambassador to Luxembourg in 1998, "openly, aggressively gay." It's language that raises eyebrows now, but then it was accepted. Only in 2012 has Hagel, eager to be confirmed himself, apologized and said his views had changed on the issue of gay rights.

Rev. Louie Giglio of Passion City Church in Georgia ran into a similar issue this week when he announced he would be pulling out of the presidential inauguration after being chosen by the inaugural committee to give the benediction later this month. He made the decision after it was revealed by ThinkProgress that he had given a sermon in the mid-1990s in which he said homosexuality is a sin and advocated "gay conversion" therapy. When he announced he was pulling out of the event, Giglio did not apologize outright as Hagel did; instead, he said that "speaking on this issue has not been in the range of my priorities in the past fifteen years."

Ellner said the dramatic and swift change is because "more and more gay Americans have had the courage to come out and live open lives."

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Grover Norquist: Obama and Democrats Using Newtown for “Political Purposes”

NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- National Rifle Association board member and president of Americans for Tax Reform Grover Norquist said on Sunday that President Obama and Democrats are politicizing the Newtown tragedy by pushing for gun control.

“We ought to calm down and not take tragedies like this, crimes like this, and use them for political purposes,” Norquist told George Stephanopoulos on This Week. “President Obama has been president for four years. If he thought some gun control could solve this problem, he should have been pushing it years ago.”

“Democrats had a majority in the House and a supermajority in the House and the Senate for the first two years that they were in office. If they thought that this was really an important issue they might have done something then. They didn’t,” he added.

On Wednesday, Obama announced that Vice President Joe Biden would head a task force of leaders from across the country to evaluate solutions to reduce gun violence.

Norquist endorsed the recommendation made by NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre at a press conference on Friday to place armed guards in schools across the country.

Other members of the political roundtable pushed for what they called “common sense” gun laws.

Newark, N.J. Mayor Cory Booker, who is a member of the pro-gun control group Mayors Against Illegal Guns, said that there is more agreement than disagreement on measures to stop the mentally ill and criminals from acquiring weapons.

“I don’t think anyone has seen someone shot—I have,” Booker said. “I don’t know if anybody here has had to put their hand in somebody’s chest, and try to stop the bleeding so that person doesn’t die—I have. What frustrates me about this debate is that it is a false debate.”

“Most of us in America including gun owners agree on things that would stop the kind of carnage that is going on in cities all across America,” Booker said, adding that loopholes that allow criminals to buy guns in “secondary markets” should be closed.

Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan said that LaPierre’s suggestion that the effect of a violent culture on the mentally ill has contributed to increased gun violence, but she believes that Congress should pursue some gun control measures.

“I am for the banning of the extended magazines and extended clips,” Noonan said.

Editor and Publisher of The Nation Katrina vanden Heuvel said that focusing on the mentally ill is a distraction from the issue of gun violence.

“The mental illness argument has been used to evade action,” vanden Huevel said. “More guns and bullets, more dead children.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


New Jersey: Chris Christie vs. Cory Booker in 2013?

Scott Eells/Bloomberg via Getty Images | BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- New Jersey has two of the most high-profile young politicians in the country -- Gov. Chris Christie and Newark Mayor Cory Booker -- and they may be on a collision course in 2013.

It is not certain that Booker will challenge Christie, who is seeking reelection as governor.  But the decision could come at any time and the prospect has many political watchers anxiously waiting.

The Newark mayor and rising Democratic star appears to be thinking about it.  He called Christie "vulnerable" on Monday.

"We think to any Democrat Christie is vulnerable, as it should be, because there's a lot of issues in the state he's not falling in line with, from women's issues, environmental issues, from really going in a balanced way," Booker told CNN.

But Booker has also noted he's considering a run for U.S. Senate in 2014, saying Sunday on CBS' Face the Nation that he will make his decision "within the next two weeks or so because, especially in New Jersey, there's a lot of good candidates for governor on the Democratic side."

One thing that may be playing into Booker's decision is Christie's sky-high approval ratings since Hurricane Sandy ravaged New Jersey.  Booker, for his part, is in the middle of a food stamp challenge -- spending just over $29 for food from Dec. 4 to Dec. 12.

A Quinnipiac poll late last month showed 67 percent of New Jersey voters saying Christie deserved reelection; 25 percent disagreed.  In a match-up with Booker, Christie prevailed, 53 percent to 35 percent.

Booker's high name recognition in the state assured that he dominated the Democratic field in the poll.  He got 41 percent, followed by State Sen. Richard Codey with 12 percent.  No other candidate got more than 4 percent in the poll.

If Booker decides to run for the U.S. Senate instead, the 43-year-old will be taking on 88-year-old Frank Lautenberg, who has already said he will run for re-election in 2014.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Cory Booker’s Food Stamp Challenge Starts with a Grocery Bill

Cindy Ord/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Cory Booker posted a photo of a crumpled receipt Monday morning to Facebook and Twitter.  The Newark, N.J., mayor wasn’t filing expenses; he was showing supporters what he’ll be eating for the next week as he takes on the food stamp challenge.  

Starting on Tuesday and going until Dec. 12, Booker will eat only what he can buy with $29.78, which is slightly more than the $28 individuals receiving food stamps tend to spend on average.

Beans, whole corn and a red delicious apple were a few of the items visible on the receipt.  The list doesn’t include any meat products, as Booker is a vegetarian.  He also doesn’t drink alcohol or smoke cigarettes, but those products aren’t covered under food stamps anyway.

Booker, known for his tendency to respond to residents over Twitter, agreed to the challenge after sparring with other tweeters over the necessity of social programs such as the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, more commonly called food stamps.

A study released on Tuesday said almost a third of American adults went hungry or worried about someone close to them going hungry this year.

Booker pledged to document his experience living on the food budget of the average individual receiving SNAP benefits on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and the video-hosting site he co-founded, WayWire.

Throughout the day Monday, Booker retweeted tips from followers on how to survive the week, living without the luxuries Booker is accustomed to.

“Dont let yourself get dehydrated! Drink lots of water, you have no fluids on here,” tweeted @LilMama82310.

“I read your receipt, and I think you are going to be hungry,” @AmyLofton warned.

“U may be right,” Booker tweeted back.  “We will see.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Cory Booker Back in Favor with Rousing DNC Speech

Scott Eells/Bloomberg via Getty Images(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) -- Newark Mayor Cory Booker, once sickened by Obama campaign tactics, settled his stomach and delivered a rousing address in support of the president’s re-election bid during the Democratic National Convention.

“You should be able to afford health care for your families. You should be able to retire with dignity and respect. And you should be able to give your children the kind of education that allows them to dream even bigger, go even further and accomplish more than you could have imagined,” Booker blared during the convention’s 6 p.m. hour Tuesday night, a time with few viewers. "This is our platform. This is our platform! This is our platform!”

It marked a stirring return to the campaign’s good graces for Booker, who on May 20 told NBC’s Meet the Press he found the Obama camp’s attacks on Mitt Romney’s record at Bain Capital “nauseating.”

“Enough is enough. Stop attacking private equity,” Booker said. “Stop attacking Jeremiah Wright.”

The Wright remark especially upset the Obama team, which felt Booker had implied an equivalence between Republican attacks on the president’s ties to his controversial former pastor and the campaign’s most damaging hit on Romney.

The popular Newark, N.J., mayor released a Web video later in the day, seeking to back off his strong language.

“I used the word ‘nauseating’ on Meet the Press because that’s really how I feel when I see people in my city struggling with real issues and still feeling the challenges of this economy,” Booker said, in what he’d later described as looking like a “hostage video.”


Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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