U.S. Senator Cory Booker told a group of about 150 New Jersey progressive leaders and activists on Thursday that they shouldn’t just focus on beating Donald Trump, but also on beating Mitch McConnell and taking control of the U.S. Senate.
“We have to turn out fear into fight. We have to turn our worry into work. We have to turn our agonizing over the realities of the president over to organizing and mobilizing our fellow New Jerseyans and our fellow Americans,” Booker said. If we are to honor RBG’s legacy, we have to be just as notorious as she was.”
And while Booker wants to make sure that New Jersey Democrats in tough races get re-elected and made a clear pitch for Amy Kennedy in NJ-2 – “let’s make sure we get rid of (Jeff) Van Drew, please, please God.” – he also asked his home state to help in other places.
“We should be spending a lot of tour time and energy trying to help out our neighbor across the Delaware in Pennsylvania,” Booker said. “If we’re blessed with the resources, we should be putting them into various races that our close and neck-in-neck.”
The organizer and moderator of the virtual meeting, New Jersey Working Families state director Sue Altman, said she is putting together a phone bank in Philadelphia that could help the Democratic presidential nominee, Joe Biden.
Booker spoke extensively about the fight in the Senate over a replacement for the late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and references Trump’s surprise victory in 2016.
“This is a result of elections having consequences. We as progressives didn’t turn out,” he said. “This president has said from the very beginning that he was going to take down Roe v. Wade.”
While hoping that one of his Republican colleagues “will have a call to conscience, like John McCain had in the past,” he said capturing four Senate seats is critical.
“If we want to do bold things for our country, we have to keep out eye on the Senate majority,” stated Booker. “This is a moral moment for us all.”
But Booker cautioned progressives to focus on the big picture of capturing seats in Republican states, where blue state messaging could hamper their chances of winning.
He cited a call he had last night with Democrat Amy McGrath, who is challenging Mitch McConnell in Kentucky.
“We have to be careful of doing things that undermine the bigger urgency of winning the Senate back,” the former presidential candidate said of concerns by some Democratic candidates. “All of them are really worried that we’re going to give ammunition to the other side.”