WASHINGTON — New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker had a simple answer on Tuesday when Yahoo Finance Editor in Chief Andy Serwer asked if he is considering a run for the presidency in 2020.”
“Yes,” Booker said during the interview at Yahoo Finance’s All Markets Summit.
While Booker has long been touted as a leading potential presidential contender, he has recently dismissed questions about whether he will launch a White House bid by saying he was focused on the midterm elections. Though the elections wrapped up last Tuesday, Booker went on to tell Serwer he’s still putting other races ahead of the next presidential race, including his own Senate reelection in 2020 and the midterm races that are still being counted.
“I’ll consider that,” Booker said of the coming presidential race. “I’m focused right now on my reelection, but is it something I’ll consider? Absolutely. Now is not the time to do that, we’ve got elections in the field, I’ve got a lot of work to do. I’ve just come off an election. I will do my best over the coming months.”
Serwer pressed Booker on when exactly he will make a decision on a potential White House bid.
“My decision’s made right now. I’m running for reelection, but will I take some time over the coming months to consider it? I absolutely will.”
Booker went on to say he finds the presidential speculation “bothersome” and believes it is “too early” to focus on the next White House race.
“Honestly, right now, … this is those wonderful moments in Washington where we should be able to come together and get good work done before we start balkanizing ourselves for presidential ambitions,” Booker said.
Booker, who was at Yahoo Finance’s All Markets Summit to discuss legislation he is proposing to offer children “baby bonds” that would give them funds for education or housing costs when they reached adulthood, went on to describe the things he is “excited” to work on in the Senate.
“There’s a fury of conversation going on about criminal justice reform right now and I’m smack dab in the middle of that,” Booker said. “It’s a cancer on the soul of our country, our broken criminal justice system. I’m excited to get to work on a lot of these issues and think about those things in the months to come.”
Booker concluded with an appeal to any potential candidates.
“I will say this to you, though, whoever is the future leader of this country — and I’m including talking about the guy that’s in that office right now — we need a revival of civic grace in this country. There is … too much hatred and vilification and demonization of people,” Booker said.
Booker suggested that leaders “need to start calling back” to the idea that “we are a nation where the lines that divide us are nowhere near as strong as the ties that bind us.”
“We share common values. We need to get back to that core … to help to drive us again to the great things our ancestors did in driving towards a greater common purpose,” said Booker.
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