‘Together, we will channel our common pain back into our common purpose…’
(AFP) Senator Cory Booker announced Friday he is running for US president, joining a widening field of Democrats seeking their party’s nomination to take on Donald Trump in 2020.
The New Jersey native, who made the announcement in a video, is the second African-American to throw their hat in the ring, following Kamala Harris.
“I am Cory Booker, and I’m running for president of the United States of America,” he said in a video and email sent to supporters.
Booker highlighted his roots in a racially divided Newark, the New Jersey city that launched his political career first as its mayor and then as the state’s first black US senator.
“Together, we will channel our common pain back into our common purpose. Together, America, we will rise,” he said.
Booker has been at the center of several controversies, especially in the past year.
Over the summer he came under fire for posing with an anti-Israel sign alongside pro-Palestine activists, then claimed he didn’t know what the sign said.
Booker also was criticized after an article from his college days surfaced in which he acknowledged inappropriately groping a female companion, which would not likely help him in the “#MeToo” era.
Booker also said Democrats would consider impeaching Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, following his hard-fought Senate confirmation, if the party retook the House of Representatives (which they did). This followed his illegal release (which he acknowledged in a “Spartacus moment”) of confidential documents about Kavanaugh during Senate Judiciary Committee hearings.
In September he encouraged left-wing activists to “get up in the face of some congresspeople,” which drew a rebuke from Sen. Rand Paul’s wife, Kelley, following her an attack on her husband in their front yard last year. She said they were “besieged in the airport” who got up in his face and screamed obscenities at him and regularly subjected to threats of violence.
And in September he also told several lies in an appearance on “The Tonight Show,” several of which were about his biography and background.
Booker, 49, has joined a crush of Democrats vying to run against Trump in next year’s presidential elections.
They include Harris, a Senator from California; Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren; former San Antonio, Texas mayor Julian Castro; Hawaii congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard; and New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand.
Also considering a run is former vice president Joe Biden.
Former Starbucks CEO Howard Shultz, a billionaire one-time Democrat, made waves on Sunday when he said he might run as an independent.
© Agence France-Presse. Liberty Headlines editor Paul Chesser contributed.