In Concord, Booker Says He Doesn't Want To 'Fight Fire with Fire' in 2020

May 13, 2019

Credit Jason Moon / NHPR

Democratic presidential candidate Cory Booker told a crowd of people in Concord Monday that a positive message is the best way to confront President Donald Trump in the next election.

“I'm kinda worried about my party as much I'm worried about other things,” said Booker. “Because I don't think we win this election by showing the worst of who we are. I think this idea, ‘when they go low, we go lower’ is terrifying to me.”

In a speech at the Green Street Community Center in Concord, the New Jersey senator largely eschewed talk of policy in favor of a more emotional message. Booker talked of “moral vandalism” from political leaders, feeling “heartbroken” by the direction of the country, and he called on voters to respond to all this with “courageous empathy.”

One policy area Booker did address in his stump speech was gun violence. Drawing on personal experience from his time as mayor of Newark, New Jersey, Booker highlighted the issue as a major focus of his candidacy.

“For me, this is one of the things that if I'm president of the United States, I'm going to bring a fight to this issue like the nation has never seen before,” he said.

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Booker told the crowd that current gun laws are "a betrayal of common sense." He called for background checks for all gun purchases, and said that people on the no-fly list should not be able to purchase weapons.