Sen. Cory Booker said Sunday, as he embarked on his first weekend in the early voting state of New Hampshire as a presidential candidate, that he believes that there’s an ‘urgency’ to deal with gun violence in America.
‘I’ll evaluate one of those emergencies if they come up,’ he told DailyMail.com at a house party in Manchester.
Booker also cast health care reform as an urgent problem while acknowledging that the nation has a ‘lot longer to go’ until universal coverage like the ‘Medicare for All’ programs some liberals are pushing become a reality.
Sen. Cory Booker said Sunday, as he embarked on his first weekend in the early voting state of New Hampshire as a presidential candidate, that he believes that there’s an ‘urgency’ to deal with gun violence in America
Booker stuck around after the event to take selfies with every potential supporter who asked for one
FUTURE VOTER: Even the youngest attendees of the Manchester, New Hampshire, house party had their questions answered by Booker
The New Jersey senator said Saturday in the Granite State that he believes there are a ‘lot of pathways’ to achieving blanket health care coverage.
He also admitted that proponents of Medicare for All are ‘going to have to find ways to advance the ball given the Congress that we have’ at this time.
Speaking after a Sunday afternoon event, where 348 likely voters crammed themselves into the Manchester home Gray and Tara Chynoweth, per a count taken by Booker’s campaign, the Democratic lawmaker said he’s personally committed to making Medicare for All or a program like it a reality.
‘There is an urgency in America to affirm our fundamental values of life liberty and the pursuit of happiness, even justice for all, to have a healthcare system that works for everybody, that everybody has access to. We don’t have that right now, and it’s an affront to our values,’ he said.
‘I’m committed to getting to the point, where everyone has coverage in our country. But we’re not there yet,’ he said. ‘Unless we can do – which I think we can – a massive change in Congress, new Congress people, which we’re already starting to see happening – new senators, a majority in the Senate, we can get back to 60 votes, in the Democratic Party. We can make things like Medicare for All possible.’
In the meantime, Booker said he wants Americans to understand there are incremental steps toward that goal that Congress can take.
He said, ‘I also want to tell people, that if we don’t do that here’s still things we can do to advance the cause of health care access in this country.
‘And so I’ve signed on to a lot of bills in the United States Senate that provide a lot of pathways towards what my ultimate goal is,’ he explained.
Booker noted that the First Step Act, a bipartisan criminal justice reform bill that he helped spearhead in Congress, was by no means comprehensive. But it was a start.
‘And then, what do I do the next day, is pick up and start working on the next phase of criminal justice reform,’ he stated. ‘The same thing with health care.’
CARROT ANYONE? Sen. Booker is seen here enjoying a carrot at a house party in Manchester, New Hampshire, on Sunday. He’s a vegan
The first-time presidential candidate said that former President Barack Obama moved the ball forward by lowering costs for states and expanding access to Americans with pre-existing conditions.
‘Those are all good things that we want to protect. But we have a lot longer to go til we get we get to our values, and that’s what I’m committed to fighting for,’ he added.
Booker emphasized as he spoke to reporters, and worked the crowd at the event, that he worked with President Trump’s staff to pass the prison bill that will shrink certain drug offender’s sentences and give judges more latitude in applying them.
‘I’m a guy that has worked with President Trump’s administration across the aisle, to get things done,’ he told a journalist of the sitting executive’s claims that Democrats want to impose socialism.
President Trump loomed large over the event, where Booker repeated a months-old claim that the Republican has engaged in ‘moral vandalism.’
The first question to Booker at the house party portion of the event came from a federal worker named ‘Kathy,’ who declined to give her last name due to the nature of her job, who wanted to know the senator’s position on executive action.
He accused Trump of a ‘butchering’ of basic constitutional values and said he is ‘encroaching on the powers of Congress.’
Taking a swipe at the Republican, who is at his resort in Palm Beach this weekend, he said, ‘And now we have a president who wants to sign a national emergency and then go play golf!’
LET’S TAKE A SELFIE: the senator volunteered to play cameraman repeatedly, moving the camera around to get the best angle for selfies
Booker said he respects the separation of powers in the U.S. Constitution.
After the event, Booker did rule out the possibility that he himself could declare a national emergency as president to address some cause that could be considered crises by Democrats.
‘I think you declare a national emergency when there is a national emergency. Should I be president, I’ll evaluate one of those emergencies if they come up,’ he told DailyMail.com.
Pressed to say whether gun violence in America is a national emergency, Booker said, ‘Again, what we have right now in our country is an urgency to do something about gun violence.
‘And we can do that if all Americans get more active and engaged, we keep fighting and keep pushing, like the Parkland students have, like activists in inner city communities like mine have. We can get that done through the political process, if we get more people engaged and more people active. I have faith in that.
He added, ‘This idea now of trying to ask people who are future aspirants about some future time what the crises are going to be, I can’t tell you what the crises will be in 2021.
‘I can tell you right now, there’s no crisis at our border, in the way that President Trump is characterizing [one]. This is a manufactured crisis in order for him to build a wall that we don’t need, he said that Mexico would pay for.
‘He’s in the wrong right now, he’s abusing the ideals of separation of powers,’ he contended. ‘What he’s doing wrong, we will fight him through the legislative process, we fight him through the courts, what he’s doing is wrong.’
Booker, who was running late to his next event, ended the conversation as it moved on to Beto O’Rourke’s claim that he would tear down the El Paso section of the border wall: ‘I’m gonna grab some carrots, and then run out.’
The senator is a devout vegan.