Cory Booker 2020

News, Analysis and Opinion from POLITICO

  1. 2020 elections

    Bloomberg says he shouldn't have called Booker 'well-spoken'

    The New Jersey senator said he was "taken aback" by the former New York mayor's language.

    Updated

    Mike Bloomberg on Friday expressed regret for calling fellow Democratic presidential candidate Cory Booker “well-spoken” earlier in the day, after the New Jersey senator said he was “taken aback” by the racially loaded remark from the former New York mayor.

    “I probably shouldn't have used the word,” Bloomberg told reporters at a campaign event in Georgia. “But I can just tell you he is a friend of mine, and he is a Rhodes Scholar, which is much more impressive than my academic background. I envy him, and he can certainly speak for himself.”

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  2. 2020 elections

    Vultures pick over remains of Harris campaign

    ‘This is an opportunity…especially in South Carolina,’ said one Democratic operative.

    Kamala Harris is having a bigger impact on the presidential primary in the two days since she dropped out than in her last three months as a candidate.

    After her departure, Sen. Cory Booker and Julián Castro immediately seized on Harris’ withdrawal to lament the dearth of non-white candidates in the field — a potential late opening for their own faltering campaigns. Elizabeth Warren is also seeking an edge from Harris’ exit: In paid ads, the Massachusetts senator contrasted Harris’ experience — and that of female candidates generally — with the billionaire men still running.

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  3. 2020 elections

    Booker and Castro accuse DNC of excluding minorities

    The party defends its debate rules as more inclusive than ever.

    Updated

    Cory Booker and Julián Castro are taking aim at the Democratic National Committee over a primary process they say is excluding them from debates but allowing a billionaire to buy his way on to the stage.

    California Sen. Kamala Harris’ abrupt departure from the 2020 race Tuesday has exposed the lack of diversity among the remaining group of top candidates. Despite falling from the top tier, Harris was the leading candidate of color and the only minority candidate to qualify for the Dec. 19 debate in Los Angeles.

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  4. 2020 elections

    Tulsi Gabbard, Andrew Yang teeter on debate bubble

    The two outsider candidates are just shy of the polling threshold for the POLITICO/PBS NewsHour debate later this month, with just over a week left to qualify.

    Tulsi Gabbard and Andrew Yang could get more airtime than ever to introduce themselves to America with just one more poll — or they could spend the December debate sitting at home.

    Right now, six candidates — four white men and two white women — are set to take the stage for the Democratic primary debate co-hosted by POLITICO and PBS NewsHour on Dec. 19: Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar, Bernie Sanders, Tom Steyer and Elizabeth Warren. Gabbard and Yang are not among them, with only one week left before qualification closes.

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  5. 2020 elections

    The most consequential moment of the 2020 primary

    A Kamala Harris town hall meeting in August 2017 is reverberating in the Democratic presidential race to this day.

    Kamala Harris was hosting a town hall in her hometown of Oakland, Calif., two years ago when she made an announcement that set off a mad scramble in the U.S. Senate.

    “Here, I’ll break some news,” Harris told hundreds of people packed into the sanctuary at Beebe Memorial Church on Aug. 30. “I intend to co-sponsor the ‘Medicaid for All’ bill because it’s just the right thing to do,” she said, flubbing the name of the proposal.

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  6. 2020 elections

    Why black voters never flocked to Kamala Harris

    A medley of concerns blocked Harris and Cory Booker from breaking in big with black voters, who have been an enduring bulwark for Joe Biden.

    Buried inside a midsummer report for Pete Buttigieg’s campaign outlining his own strengths and weaknesses, a few lines crystallized one of the most important developments of the 2020 presidential race: black voters’ relative lack of interest in the black candidates.

    “They see potential in her,” Buttigieg’s pollster wrote about Kamala Harris, after interviewing groups of black voters — “but do worry that America won’t elect a black woman.” And for many, Harris’ June debate criticism of Joe Biden on racial issues did not feel sincere.

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  7. 2020 elections

    How Buttigieg got knocked off the Obama track

    ‘If someone wants to tell you that Pete Buttigieg is Barack Obama, they are being blatantly ignorant of facts,’ said one Democrat.

    In fundraising pitches, campaign messaging and his own speeches, Pete Buttigieg likes to point out the parallels between his own upstart campaign and that of another Democrat whose presidential bid was once seen as a longshot — Barack Obama.

    But that framing is coming under serious question — and might be rendered entirely useless — as the South Bend, Indiana, mayor’s efforts to win over black voters continue to fall flat.

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  8. 2020 elections

    Super PAC backing Booker will shut down

    High-dollar donors did not want to support Dream United, its creator said.

    A super PAC created to back Sen. Cory Booker’s bid for president will shut down, its operator said Wednesday, after Booker denounced super PACs and donors showed little interest.

    The PAC, called Dream United, was created almost a year ago by Steve Phillips, a Democratic donor and activist who helped raise money for high-profile black candidates, including Barack Obama and Stacey Abrams.

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  9. Transportation

    Warren, Sanders criticize Amtrak's arbitration policy for passengers

    The lawmakers wrote that the policy is "gravely imperiling traveling Americans' access to justice and public accountability."

    Fourteen Senate Democrats, including four presidential candidates, criticized Amtrak's new arbitration policy for passengers in a letter to the CEO of the federally subsidized railroad.

    The change, which was first reported by POLITICO, was implemented in January.

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  10. 2020 Elections

    To defeat Trump, Dems rethink the Obama coalition formula

    A contest once largely defined by ideology is suddenly being re-framed around questions of race and identity.

    Stirred by fears that Democrats might fail to patch together the broad coalition necessary to defeat Donald Trump next year, the late stages of the Democratic primary have taken an abrupt turn.

    Suddenly, a contest that has been largely defined by ideology is being re-framed around questions of race and identity.

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  11. altitude

    Democrats Heed Obama’s Warning

    As voting nears, candidates discover ordinary voters matter more than social-media warriors.

    Updated

    Finally, a year after candidates began announcing, five months after they began televised debates, actual caucus and primary voting is not too far away. This looming reality pervaded both the mood and substance of the latest Democratic presidential showdown, in Atlanta on Wednesday night.

    As voting gets closer, the candidates are getting closer to voters. Closer, that is, to power as it really exists in the contemporary Democratic Party—a coalition in which African-Americans and women and working-class voters matter very much, and liberal commentators and social media warriors may not matter as much as it sometimes seems in the daily rumpus.

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  12. 2020 democratic debates

    Why Pete Buttigieg got a pass in the debate

    The mayor took a few small hits, but for the most part, rivals want to see if his rise in Iowa is for real before trying to drag him down.

    ATLANTA — Pete Buttigieg came into Wednesday night’s debate bracing for an onslaught that never came.

    Yes, Amy Klobuchar and Tulsi Gabbard questioned his experience. Cory Booker dinged the young mayor’s résumé, pointed out that he himself is the “other Rhodes scholar mayor on the stage” and warned voters against picking a Democratic nominee with an “inauthentic” connection to African American voters — a bloc that has largely ignored Buttigieg’s campaign so far.

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  13. 2020 Democratic Debates

    4 POLITICO scribes give the skinny on Wednesday's Democratic debate

    Our breakdown of everything you need to know, from how Buttigieg handled his newfound frontrunner status to Tulsi's talent at trolling her rivals.


    Pete Buttigieg arrived at Wednesday night's Democratic debate flying high in Iowa — but with a "frontrunner" target newly affixed to his back. Elizabeth Warren needed to shed the Medicare for All monkey from her back. For Joe Biden, it was the second center stage he's taken this week, after the House impeachment hearings. And Bernie Sanders, having assuaged concerns about his heart attack for the time being, was still trying to show he can be more than a narrow movement candidate.

    Against that backdrop, those four top candidates, and six others desperate to gain traction, took the stage in Atlanta for the fifth Democratic presidential debate. What did we learn? We asked four POLITICO campaign reporters — Natasha Korecki, Holly Otterbein, David Siders and Alex Thompson — for their takeaways from the two-hour showdown.

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  14. 2020 democratic debates

    ‘You might have been high when you said it’: The best zingers on the debate stage

    Buttigieg makes a confession. Sanders curses. And Harris reminds Biden that she exists.

    The still-sprawling Democratic field of candidates spent much of Wednesday's debate engaging in substantive policy debates and launching oral attacks. But several rivals also managed to elicit laughter from the audience.

    Here are some of the most memorable lines from the fifth Democratic debate:

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  15. 2020 Elections

    Democratic presidential field goes dark on impeachment

    It’s not that they lack strong opinions on the matter.

    LAS VEGAS — Impeachment hearings are engulfing Washington, but in one surprising place — the Democratic presidential primary — it’s as if the unfolding saga hardly exists.

    Sen. Kamala Harris, asked in a forum at the California Democratic Party convention over the weekend if she was listening to the hearings, responded, “not so much.”

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  16. 2020 elections

    White House hopefuls are missing Senate votes — and nobody cares

    "Their presence doesn’t make a difference," Sen. Dick Durbin says.

    Bernie Sanders came to the Capitol on Thursday, when the Senate considered a judicial nominee bitterly opposed by liberals. But Sanders wasn't there to vote — he was instead doing an event with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

    "I am running for president," Sanders responded when asked why he hadn't voted. Aides rushed him away from any follow-up questions.

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  17. 2020 elections

    How Deval Patrick could torpedo Joe Biden

    The ex-Massachusetts governor eyes a path through South Carolina.

    Updated

    Deval Patrick looks like the ideal candidate to break Joe Biden’s grip on African-American voters.

    He‘s just the second elected black governor since Reconstruction and has close ties with former President Barack Obama.

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  18. 2020 elections

    How Iowa swallowed the Democratic primary

    Despite fears of declining influence in the Democratic primary, the state suddenly matters more than ever.

    DES MOINES, Iowa — It’s too white, too old, and wildly unrepresentative of the Democratic Party. In the era of nationalized politics, even some prominent Iowans feared this was the year their state’s influence over the presidential primary season might finally start to decay.

    But a strange thing is happening: Iowa appears to matter more than ever.

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  19. 2020 Elections

    Dems tiptoe around ‘Pocahontas’ and Hunter as Trump licks his chops

    Some in the party think candidates are doing a disservice by not making the frontrunners show how they'd handle some of the GOP's go-to attacks.

    “Pocahontas?” A racial slur unfit for discussion. Bernie’s heart attack? Out of bounds. Questions about Hunter Biden’s business dealings? Stop carrying Donald Trump’s water.

    To listen to 2020 Democrats, some of the most volatile critiques of the top three polling candidates aren’t worthy of public debate — even though Trump and GOP operatives have made clear they’d hammer them on those issues during the general election.

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