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40 Million at Risk of Tornadoes, Large Hair, Damaging Winds; Pelosi Slams Trump for Provocative 9/11 Tweet about Rep. Omar; Trump Mulls Dumping Detained Immigrants into Sanctuary Cities as Shanahan to Send More Troops to Border; Tornado Touched Down in Texas; Trump & Kim Jong-Un Open to 3rd Nuclear Summit; Lori Loughlin & Husband "Not Ready" for Plea Deal in College Admission Scandal; Cory Booker Kicks Off Presidential Campaign at Rally in Newark. Aired 1-2p ET

Aired April 13, 2019 - 13:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[13:00:00] IVAN CABRERA, AMS METEOROLOGIST: A confirmed large and extremely dangerous tornado has already produced significant damage. A particularly dangerous situation, life-threatening situation. Mobile homes will be destroyed. Considerable damage to homes, businesses and complete destruction. We're getting word we do have considerable damage and even the potential of injuries with this particular cell. Notice, we have one, two, three. These will continue. This is going to be a tornado outbreak. We're just in the beginning of it. This will go on until 8:00 p.m. and then some. The area you see here, particularly Louisiana and into western Mississippi, that's the bull's eye for not just isolated tornados, likely tornadoes, some of which could be very significant and quite violent -- Fredricka?

FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Thank you for the warning. Keep us posted.

Ivan Cabrera, thank you so much.

CABRERA: You're welcome.

WHITFIELD: Welcome, again. Thanks for being with me this Saturday. I'm Fredricka Whitfield.

At any moment, New Jersey Senator Cory Booker will kick off the first official rally of his presidential campaign in Newark, New Jersey. It's a place Cory Booker has called home for many years, growing up in the area, serving as Newark's mayor for two terms. It's Booker's first major rally since he announced his candidacy more than two months ago. We'll take to Newark, live, when Senator Booker starts speaking.

President Trump is upping the ante on his attacks against Muslim Congresswoman Ilhan Omar. And he's drawing the ire of top Democrats, like Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Pelosi calling Trump wrong for tweeting an edited video of recent speech by Omar and images of the burning Twin Towers. Trump and other conservatives are criticizing Omar's reference to 9/11 when she said, "some people did something." Here's part of that speech.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) REP. ILHAN OMAR (D-MN): Far too, long we have lived with the discomfort of being a second-class citizen. And, frankly, I'm tired of it. And every single Muslim in this country should be tired of it.

CAIR was founded after 9/11. Because they recognized that some people did something and that all of us were starting to lose access to our civil liberties.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: One quick fact-check. CAIR was not founded after 9/11. It was founded in 1994.

The "New York Post" seized on her comments with this front cover. Democrats say Trump is using Omar's words out of context to incite violence against her.

CNN White House reporter, Sarah Westwood, has been following this.

The House speaker is the latest to come to Omar's defense.

SARAH WESTWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Fred. Speaker Pelosi joined other Democrats, including 2020 presidential hopefuls, in lining up behind Congresswoman Omar in the wake of this controversy. Many of the presidential candidates have condemned the president's decision to share that provocative clip.

Here's part of what Pelosi said this morning: "The memory of 9/11 is sacred ground and any discussion of it must be done with reverence. The president shouldn't use the painful images of 9/11 for a political attack."

This comes after Congresswoman Omar has received death threats after some of her previous comments come under scrutiny. Because of that, some Democrats have accused the president of inciting hatred, potentially even violence against her in a dangerous way. Republicans, on the other hand, have argued that Congresswoman Omar downplayed the magnitude of 9/11 with her comments.

So President Trump, Fred, retreating to a familiar pattern by using the comments of one Democrat to attack the entire Democratic Party.

WHITFIELD: Let me shift gears a little bit, Sarah, about immigration, the battle that continues to brew. Trump saying he's actually considering bussing migrants into so-called sanctuary cities, in part, to spite Democrats. The acting secretary of defense said he expects to send more troops to the southern border. What more can you tell us?

WESTWOOD: Fred, we're seeing a shift in the administration's immigration policy. President Trump confirming he wants to pursue this policy of bussing migrants to sanctuary cities for release hours after White House officials repeatedly told reporters that idea was raised informally during a meeting but it was quickly shut down but it wasn't under serious consideration.

President Trump, though, confirming it's something his White House might pursue. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We are looking at the possibility -- strongly looking at it, to be honest with you. California is always saying, oh, we want more people and they want more people in their sanctuary cities. We'll give them more people. We'll give them a lot. We can give them an unlimited supply. And let's see if they're so happy.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WESTWOOD: These discussions come as Customs and Border Protection says their facilities have reached capacity, that the system is at a breaking point. The acting defense secretary, Pat Shanahan, saying it's likely the administration could send more troops to the border amid this crisis -- Fred?

[13:05:09] WHITFIELD: Sarah Westwood, at the White House, thank you so much.

Joining me now, CNN political analysts, Patrick Healy and Karoun Demirjian.

Good to see you both.

Karoun, you first.

The president's use of the video sparking backlash, particularly from Democrats. Presidential candidate, Pete Buttigieg, tweeted this in part: "I served overseas at risk to my life in the struggle against such terrorism. But it can only be fully defeated if we have leaders at home who diffuse its capacity to sow hate, hate against Islam or against any number of others."

Karoun, talk to me about the president's strategy here, tapping into Islamophobia, targeting Congresswoman Omar. He's hopeful he believes it's to his advantage. Is it?

KAROUND DEMIRJIAN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: This is the thing. The president, it's not the first time he's kind of leaned into these racist or religiously racist tropes. It's not the first time he's refused to let something go. Congresswoman Omar has made some verbal slip ups in the last few months, and that's the way of putting it kindly. She's been accused of anti-Semitism and not being reverent enough about 9/11. Fine. But the point is the president has gone really, really further and keeps pushing this point, keeps hammering to the point where the criticism isn't about Representative Omar any more. It's of him. It seems to have engendered this backlash, at least among the Democrats, who were criticizing her, trying to think about way of potentially censoring her on the House floor, which is a fairly serious gesture. And now they are rallying around her. The speaker is rallying behind her. The presidential candidates are rallying around her. The scrutiny is not on her anymore. It's on the president. He's been trying to make this a winning point. He's lost some of his audience by pushing it as hard as he's been. And by making -- the campaign is making with this tweet, which really is doing exactly what Omar was trying to speak against in that speech, which is focusing on the idea that the perpetrators of 9/11 were Muslim and, thus, we should be focusing on that aspect of it, which is unlike what former presidents have done in trying to make a clear distinction between people of the Muslim faith and the perpetrators and terrorists who carried out the attacks in 2001.

WHITFIELD: Patrick, Democrats who have been defending Omar and even in these latest remarks, they're saying she's being taken out of context. If you listen to the totality of her 20-minute speech, you'll see what she meant and how she was making reference by using the word "people," which she strings throughout, talking lots of different ways. It's a threat that is throughout her speech. What does this do to the president's credibility of making -- using this video, using the imagery, these images of 9/11, and juxtaposing it with her words even though it's out of context?

PATRICK HEALY, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: I think it really hurts the president in places where he needs votes. This is all political for the president. Donald Trump really hurt the Republican Party by using racist and divisive language about immigrants, about migrants, about the caravan during 2018. Republicans lost seats in key suburban areas where you didn't have a hyper-partisan conservative or liberal base. These were areas that didn't like the way the president talked about human beings, that he would frame them in ways that people found really -- you know, from uncomfortable to disgusting and vile. It hurt him. The question is, does this president, when he talks about something like what Congresswoman Omar talked about, who is he trying to appeal to. If he's trying to appeal to his base of voters, that 35 percent to 40 percent of voters, that's one thing. But it doesn't necessarily show the leadership on an issue, kind of restraint or responsibility on how he talks about a matter that not just incited death threats, but New York authorities arrested a man who was a Trump supporter and called up Representative Omar's office and made a blunt death threat to her. It goes to responsibility and how much does the president, again, want to be seen as speaking responsibly or just simply it feels like inciting and playing to his political base.

WHITFIELD: We'll leave it there for now.

Patrick Healy, Karoun Demirjian, thank you both so much.

HEALY: Thank you.

DEMIRJIAN: Thank you.

[13:09:46] Still ahead, Democratic presidential hopeful, Cory Booker, about to host a hometown rally to officially kick off his campaign. He'll speak at any moment. We'll take you there, live.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WHITFIELD: Breaking news out of Texas. A reported tornado has touched down near Alto, Texas. That's about two hours north of Houston.

Meteorologist Ivan Cabrera in the CNN Weather Center.

Ivan, tell us more.

CABRERA: Fredricka, these are the types of tornado we call wedge tornado. This is the beginning of what will be a busy and potentially deadly afternoon. With the ingredients of the atmosphere not just there for severe thunderstorms or tornadoes, but very strong tornados. This is what we have now. Tornado watch in effect until 7:00 central that includes Texas and into Louisiana. That watch means conditions are favorable for them to form. They already have. As Frederica mentioned, across central Texas, particularly, Franklin, Texas, we've seen a violent tornado rolled through. Some of our radar we've been looking at, you can actually see, indicated by radar, the debris from the destruction that has been lofted up into the air about 10,000 to 15,000 feet. That's the kind of violence we're talking about with these storms. More tornado warnings popping up in Texas and that will continue to expand.

[13:15:19] This is the bull's eye, Eastern Texas into Louisiana and then later into western Mississippi. The best advice I can give you. If you can and it's safe to do so, if you're in a mobile home in this area, get out. Go to a neighbor's home, a friend's or family member, go to the, mall if you can. If you have a tornado warning in your area, this is the kind of day you have to take shelter very quickly. Again, the potential for strong and long-tracking tornados that are on the ground for upwards of 25 miles across here. That will continue through 8:00.

Let's time it out for you and show you some of the winds here. We're looking at potentially a category 4 or category 5 hurricane. Those are the kinds of violent winds we're talking about with the way the atmosphere is set up this afternoon and into the evening. There's your timeline, now, Eastern Texas. And 3:00 to 6:00 p.m., Louisiana gets it. Mississippi, 6:00 to 9:00 p.m., that's your turn. And then this continues to move further and further east. By midnight, we're talking folks in Alabama will need to pay close attention to the weather, especially if you hear those tornado sirens.

By the way, we've been talking to Andy Scholes out there, at the Augusta. That's going to be a problem as this threatens to shift east. This is for tomorrow. Today, though, we still have to get through a very long afternoon and evening with some of these storms -- Fredricka?

WHITFIELD: Ivan, thank you so much for that. We'll check back with you.

CABRERA: Yes.

WHITFIELD: Meantime, North Korea's leader, Kim Jong-Un, says he and President Trump still have a good relationship, but the U.S. has a lot of work to do when it comes to negotiating. Could a third summit be in the works? That's next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [13:21:29] WHITFIELD: North Korean leader, Kim Jong-Un, is saying he still has a good relationship with President Trump. In the same breath, the North Korea leader warned the U.S. not to stick to its, quote, " political calculation" when it comes to nuclear talks. President Trump cut short a summit in February with the North Korean leader after Kim Jong-Un demanded sanctions be lifted against his country. But this morning, the president of the United States floating the idea of a third meeting, tweeting this, in part, "I agree with Kim Jong-Un or North Korea that our personal relationship remains very good, perhaps the term 'excellent' would be even more accurate. And that a third summit would be good in that we fully understand where we each stand."

Kim Jong-Un says a third summit could happen but only under certain circumstances.

CNN national security analyst, Samantha Vinograd, joining me now.

Samantha, is this laying the groundwork for a third time is a charm?

SAMANTHA VINOGRAD, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: I don't think the third time is going to be a charm. This is a third date that the president should probably avoid going on if he's focused on his state goal or North Korean denuclearization. Kim Jong-Un has been playing from the same playbook since he first made this offer of diplomacy over a year ago. It's no accident he continues to praise President Trump while belittling the American negotiating team. We saw this last summer when he talked about the gangster-like demands that Secretary Pompeo was making on the North Koreans. It's been a repeated them throughout Kim Jong-Un's public messages over the last few months. He's trying to isolate President Trump from experts in the United States that have said quite clearly that North Korea is not going to denuclearize. President Trump disagrees with that, perhaps for political reasons. Because he's staked so much on making these negotiations a success that he's not willing to admit they've failed. Fred, if a third summit is scheduled, I think that's going to be good. But to quote President Trump from Kim Jong-Un's perspective, he will have more weapons by then and likely more friends on the global stage. It's probably not going to be good for a President Trump and national security perspective because we've fallen behind in terms of our capabilities.

WHITFIELD: What should the conditions be if the U.S. were to say, yes, we're going to make this third summit happen? We know North Korea has conditions. What should be the U.S. conditions?

VINOGRAD: We've talked about this so many times. I wish President Trump would pay attention. He likes to watch television. You don't have to reinvent the denuclearization wheel. There's a series of steps countries go through when they're committed to denuclearization. There's an organization called the IAEA, which is charged with, first, doing an inventory of what a country has. We know that North Korea has, in the past, had several secret nuclear sites. It's unclear what their capabilities are. That's why letting experts in from the IAEA to look at what's there would be an obvious first step. Followed by experts devising a denuclearization timeline. We have zero indication that Kim Jong-Un is going to let the experts in. Instead, he's taking an approach of saying take my word for it, I'm dismantling this site and you should believe me that it's actually dismantled and I don't have other capabilities. We have the experts that can go in and do this if Kim Jong-Un is willing to let them and, frankly, if President Trump is going to push him to accept these kinds of conditions.

WHITFIELD: So Kim Jong-Un gave the U.S. until the end of the year to be more flexible. What did that mean? What's the barometer of flexibility?

[13:25:09] VINOGRAD: We know what Kim Jong-Un wants. He wants sanctions relief. North Korea and its patrons, China and Russia, have pushed for what we call the step-by-step approach, whereby, they do something like supposed dismantling a nuclear site, and we lift some sanctions. What's probably is going to happen between now and the end of the year, which is Kim setting the timeline, by the way, is North Korea is going to continue amassing weapons and massing illicit revenue because their sanctions are still in place, while it finds loopholes in the existing sanctions regime. What we're not doing is equally important. We're not doing joint military exercises with South Korea. Every day that goes by, we're falling behind from a force readiness perspective, which really means all options are no longer on the table when it comes to the U.S. response to North Korea's illegal activity.

WHITFIELD: All right. Samantha Vinograd, we'll leave it there for now. Thanks so much.

VINOGRAD: Thanks, Fred.

WHITFIELD: One of the key players in the college admissions scandal has pled guilty and cut a deal with prosecutors. We'll find out what that could mean for Actress Lori Loughlin and others who are charged with paying big money to cheat their kids' way into college.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[13:30:26] FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Any moment, New Jersey Senator Cory Booker will kick off his first official rally for his candidacy for presidency. This is his mom speaking, Carolyn Booker. She might be introducing her son. When that happens, we'll take you there live.

Meantime, a guilty plea now from a key player in the college admissions scandal. Prosecutors say Mark Riddell took standardized tests on behalf of students and fixed incorrect answers earning $10,000 for each test. The 36-year-old Harvard grad pleaded guilty to two charges yesterday and will be sentenced in July.

CNN is also learning attorneys for Actress Lori Loughlin and her husband say they're not ready to enter a plea for their alleged role in the scandal. They're alleged to have paid $500,000 to a fake charity to get their daughters in the USC. This week, they were hit this week with an additional charge of money laundering and could face up to 40 years in prison. Actress Felicity Huffman and several others have struck a plea deal with prosecutors. Avery Friedman, a civil rights attorney and law professor, and

criminal defense attorney, Richard Herman, with me now.

Good to see you both.

(CROSSTALK)

RICHARD HERMAN, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY & LAW PROFESSOR: Hi, Fredericka.

WHITFIELD: Richard, did Lori Loughlin and her husband missed their chance to make a plea deal?

HERMAN: Someone has to shake their heads and wake them up a little bit here, Fred. When the federal prosecutors -- they don't play. This is federal court. This is not a Jussie Smollett situation.

AVERY FRIEDMAN, CIVIL RIGHT ATTORNEY & LAW PROFESSOR: That's right.

HERMAN: This is a real deal, Fred. When federal prosecutors make you an offer and you turn it down, you never get that offer again normally. Normally, it's much worse next time around. So --

(CROSSTALK)

WHITFIELD: This is an indicator that they feel like they would win their battle in court, right? That they would not take a --

HERMAN: No. No. No.

WHITFIELD: What is it?

HERMAN: If she --

WHITFIELD: What's behind them turning this down?

HERMAN: If she feels -- I can't believe she feels that way. If she does, her lawyers are doing a horrible job for her. Felicity Huffman did the right thing. She'll get the benefit of that deal. This Lori Loughlin is in La La Land. She doesn't feel her conduct was egregious. She thinks any mother with the means would have done this. And she doesn't see the magnitude of what she did. She thought the prosecutors were bluffing her.

FRIEDMAN: Right. Right.

HERMAN: Now what happens is a superseding indictment, money laundering, top count, maximum 20 years in prison. Fred, Lori Loughlin, even though --

FRIEDMAN: Per count. Per count.

HERMAN: -- it's a nonviolent crime, it's nonviolent -- she's going to go to prison on this, Fred.

(CROSSTALK) WHITFIELD: Avery, it's understandable when you're a novice. It's the

first time you've been in trouble. But that's when you lean on your attorneys to steer you in the right direction.

FRIEDMAN: Yes. Yes.

WHITFIELD: Is this a case of not being steered in the right direction or being too hopeful? How do you explain it?

FRIEDMAN: It's in conceivable to me the lawyers didn't explain to the parents what's on the line. I don't know how anyone could walk away from that kind of proceeding thinking the U.S. attorney's office is bluffing. Now you have the superseding indictment. You have up to 20 years per count. This is very serious. It never goes backwards. I'm in agreement. I don't know what the thinking was except that the moment for the opportunity to minimize the impact -- you're still going to jail. You're going to jail. Now it's going to be significantly more time because they made the U.S. attorney's office work it this way. So that's going to deal with mom and dad. The other question that remains, Fredricka, is, what about the children. Were they complicit?

WHITFIELD: Right.

FRIEDMAN: Afterall, they were adults.

WHITFIELD: I mean, yes, and did they not know what was going on? If they did know, then how come there aren't charges against them?

Hold that thought. We have to go back to New Jersey.

Carolyn, the mother of Cory Booker, has just introduced his son. This is his first big rally since announcing his candidacy for the White House. He's on hometown turf in Newark, New Jersey. Coming out waving his hands and dancing a bit. We'll hear what Senator Cory Booker has to say.

(SINGING)

[13:35:45] SEN. CORY BOOKER (D-NJ): All right! All right!

(CHEERING)

BOOKER: All right, New Jersey!

(CHEERING)

(CHANTING)

BOOKER: All right! Thank you!

(CHANTING)

BOOKER: Thank you!

(CHANTING) BOOKER: I have to start by just giving -

(CHANTING)

BOOKER: Thank you.

(CHANTING)

BOOKER: Thank you.

(CHEERING)

BOOKER: All right.

(CHEERING)

BOOKER: I want to start off -- did my mom do a great job?

(CHEERING)

BOOKER: I want to thank my mother. It was her example all my life, her example of grace and courage and service. It's her love which is the reason why I'm here today. I wish my dad could be here. In my heart, I believe he is here as you said.

(CHEERING)

BOOKER: We're here today to seek justice.

(CHEERING0

BOOKER: We're here today because we are impatient for that justice. Our sense of moral urgency, our impatience comes from love.

(CHEERING)

BOOKER: Love of our families. Love of our communities. Love of our country. And love of each other.

The mayor was right Newark, Brick City. This community --

(CHEERING)

BOOKER: This community taught me all about that love. It's not that feel good, easy going love. It is strong, courageous love. It's defiant love. The kind of love that works through heartbreak and pain and betrayal. It's the kind of love that keeps ongoing and never gives up. It's the kind of love that sacrifices. It's the kind of love that's essential to achieving justice.

(CHEERING)

BOOKER: I learned right here on these streets that you can't make progress by dividing people. You can't make progress by stoking fear or setting us one against the other.

(CHEERING)

BOOKER: I learned that the only way to overcome the really tough challenges is by extending grace, finding common ground, and working together.

(CHEERING)

BOOKER: We know this, that today so many of us are hurting. So many of us are understandably angry. So many of us are feeling afraid for our futures and our families. Too many people believe the forces tearing us apart are stronger than the bonds holding us together. I don't believe that. I believe we will bring our country together.

(CHEERING)

BOOKER: I believe we will achieve things that other people say are impossible. I believe we will make justice real for all people.

(CHEERING)

BOOKER: And that is why I am running for president of the United States of America.

(CHEERING)

BOOKER: Let me tell you --

(CHANTING)

BOOKER: Let me tell you --

(CHANTING)

BOOKER: Let me tell you we are a great nation because of all our people. To the people across the country who don't speak English as their first language, I want to say to many of you: (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE).

(CHEERING)

[13:40:10] BOOKER: I will be a president for all people in America.

(CHEERING)

BOOKER: When I arrived here in Newark over 20 years ago to work as a tenant rights' lawyer, I found a city with challenges that some folks said were intractable. We in Newark refuse to believe that any problem is too hard to solve if we tackle it together. We were a community impatient for justice. Newark has always been a community impatient for justice. A community that knew, in the words of Dr. King, wait has almost always meant never. In communities like ours and in communities all across this country, wait still too frequently means never. Wait for clean water. Wait for decent-paying jobs. Wait for better schools. Wait your turn. Wait. Here in Newark we refused to wait.

(CHEERING)

BOOKER: When this incredible city took a chance on me as their mayor, the chief executive of this city, New Jersey's largest city, I didn't wait to start bringing people together. We didn't just talk about the injustice of families not having heat in the coldest months of the year. We took on the slum lords and doubled the rate of affordable housing production right here.

(CHEERING)

BOOKER: We didn't just talk about the injustice.

(CHANTING)

BOOKER: We didn't just wait to talk about the injustice of people not being able to buy fresh fruits and vegetables. We opened grocery stores in food deserts. We got people to invest here. We got people to open new businesses here. We created thousands of jobs here together. After 60 years of decline, after years of decline, look around you. Newark is growing again.

(CHEERING)

BOOKER: In New Jersey, when you sent me to Washington as your Senator, I brought those lessons with me. Politics in D.C. are broken, but we still found ways to bring people together and get things done. After decades of criminal justice system moving in the wrong direction, I led a bipartisan effort to write and pass the first meaningful reform in a generation.

(CHEERING)

BOOKER: I worked with Republicans and Democrats to write and pass a law that is bringing billions of dollars of investment to low-income urban and rural communities that for too long have been left out and left behind.

There are so many places like that across America. Not just cities like this one, farm communities and factory towns, that like us here in Newark, have been given up on and talked down to, counted out and underestimated. They can't wait for change. None of us can. We are here today to say we can't wait.

(CHEERING)

(CHANTING)

BOOKER: We can't wait when powerful forces are turning their prejudice into policy and rolling back the rights that generations of Americans fought for and heroes died for. We can't wait when this administration is throwing children fleeing violence into cages, banning Muslims from entering the nation founded on religious liberty, and preventing brave transgender Americans from serving the country they love.

(CHEERING) [13:45:04] BOOKER: We can't wait because many of our most serious challenges as a nation were with us long before Donald Trump entered the White House.

(CHEERING)

BOOKER: We can't wait because we have a criminal justice system that, in the words of my friend, Brian Stevenson (ph), treats you better if you're rich and guilty than if you're poor and innocent.

(CHEERING)

BOOKER: A system, a system so deeply baked with bias that it ruthlessly discriminates against black people and brown people and low-income people with mental illnesses, folks with addiction. We can't wait where we have an economy with people working two or three jobs pick up extra shifts and they still can't pay the bills. Profits are soaring while wages for most Americans have barely bulged. Massive corporations have taken over entire industries, killing competition, driving out innovation, squeezing out small businesses. And American family farmers, our first entrepreneurs, are disappearing at a disturbing rate.

We have had decades of unjust policies that have destroyed our economy and extracted money from our commonwealth and plowed it into tax cuts for the wealthy and wars overseas we didn't have to fight. Instead of investing in the things we all know grow our economy and create more opportunity for all like education and infrastructure.

(CHEERING)

BOOKER: That's why, when I am president of the United States --

(CHEERING)

BOOKER: -- we won't wait.

(CHEERING)

BOOKER: We won't wait for criminal justice reform. We will end the system of mass incarceration in America.

(CHEERING)

BOOKER: We will invest in people, their education, their mental health, treating addiction. We will end the school-to-prison pipeline.

(CHEERING)

BOOKER: We will empower the formerly incarcerated with jobs and opportunity, not a slippery slope back to jail and prison.

(CHEERING)

BOOKER: We won't wait to legalize marijuana at the federal level. (CHEERING)

BOOKER: That is not enough. We will push states to do the same. Invest in the communities that have been devastated by the decades'- long failed war on drugs.

(CHEERING)

BOOKER: We will expunge the records of those who have already been convicted.

(CHEERING)

BOOKER: We won't wait -- we won't wait for more thoughts and prayers for communities that have been shattered by gun violence. From Pittsburgh to Parkland to Charleston to communities where kids fear the fireworks of 4th of July because to them they sound like gunshots. We will pass universal background checks.

(CHEERING)

BOOKER: We will ban assault weapons --

(CHEERING)

BOOKER: -- and close the loopholes that allow people who should never have a gun to get one.

(CHEERING)

BOOKER: Folks, we will bring a fight to the NRA like they have never, ever seen before.

(CHEERING)

BOOKER: And we will win.

(CHEERING)

BOOKER: We won't wait to meet the challenge and the crisis of climate change because we have no other choice. We will build a clean energy economy. We will hold polluters accountable and ensure that every child can drink the water from their sink and breathe the air in their neighborhood without getting sick.

(CHEERING)

BOOKER: We won't wait for an inclusive criminal -- excuse me - inclusive economic justice. We will fight against the onslaught of attacks on worker's rights in America.

(CHEERING)

BOOKER: You see, it was my grandfather's union job that help my mom and my family move from poverty into the middle class. We'll protect that pathway for workers who are now seeing their rights eroded. we will build an opportunity economy, where there are good-paying jobs and fair wages in every neighborhood and where the dignity of work is respected, where benefits are secure and portable, so you can change jobs or start a new business with confidence, and where small businesses can be, as they always have been, the main engines of job growth and economic growth in America.

(CHEERING)

[13:50:26] BOOKER: And we will change -- we will close, we will close the racial wealth gap in America.

(CHEERING)

BOOKER: Because we can't be blind to the impact of generations of racism and white supremacy that were written into our laws over centuries.

(CHEERING)

BOOKER: That's why we will create a federally funded savings account for every child born in America that starts at birth.

(CHEERING)

BOOKER: And as they grow up, it will give the lowest income kids in our country up to $50,000 to pay for college, put a down payment on a home or jumpstart a small business.

(CHEERING)

BOOKER: We won't wait to deliver a great education to every child. We will fully fund public schools.

(CHEERING)

BOOKER: And that especially includes special needs education.

(CHEERING)

BOOKER: And we will ensure that the most valuable profession in any democracy, we will make sure that public school teachers get the pay increases they deserve, the resources they need, and their student loan debt is forgiven.

(CHEERING)

BOOKER: We won't wait to expand pathways to opportunity for all young people. We will make college affordable. We will invest in and strengthen our HBCUs.

(CHEERING)

BOOKER: And we will create the world's greatest system of apprenticeship and training programs right here in America.

(CHEERING) BOOKER: We won't wait to fix our broken health care system, because in America, health care is a right.

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BOOKER: I will fight for Medicare-for-All, and I will start with lowering the age of Medicare eligibility and giving Americans a real public option.

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BOOKER: I will use the government's bargaining power to once and for all bring down the cost of prescription drugs.

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BOOKER: And I will once and for all end the sabotage of the Affordable Care Act.

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BOOKER: We won't wait to fix our broken immigration system, because in America, immigration is and always has been a source of strength.

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BOOKER: We will pass comprehensive immigration reform. We will create a pathway to citizenship for all those living in the United States, and we will protect our DREAMers and make them what they already are, citizens of the United States of America.

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BOOKER: We will end the moral vandalism of family separation and have an immigration system that affirms our values.

We won't wait to stop the dangerous assault on women's rights.

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BOOKER: Women will have reproductive justice.

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BOOKER: We are Americans. Women must have the freedom to make decisions about their own bodies and economic futures.

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BOOKER: As your president, I will appoint Supreme Court justices who will defend Roe v. Wade.

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BOOKER: And we will take on the systemic challenges that disproportionately affect women and hold back our entire country. (CHEERING)

BOOKER: We will fight for equal pay, affordable child care, and finally establish a national paid family and medical leave program for our country.

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BOOKER: And we will build in our country, starting with the highest office in the land and all across our nation, we will build a culture where men respect women.

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[13:55:03] BOOKER: Where sexual assault and harassment are no longer swept under the rug. And future generations don't have to raise their hand to say #metoo.

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BOOKER: We won't wait any longer for equal justice under the law. We will pass the Equality Act and ensure that LGBTQ Americans are protected under federal civil rights law.

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BOOKER: We will pursue a new Voting Rights Act, end gerrymandering, and get the dark money out of politics once and for all.

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BOOKER: And unlike this president, I won't ignore or give license to white supremacy.

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BOOKER: I will put more resources toward protecting our country from it.

And we will no longer wait for America to stand up for justice around the world. We will strengthen our alliances and defend human rights, not coddle dictators or squander America's moral authority.

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BOOKER: As commander-in-chief, as commander-in-chief, there's nothing I will take more seriously than the responsibility to protect our nation and keep faith with the people who wear our uniform.

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BOOKER: We call ourselves the Home of the Brave. But when our brave veterans come home, we need to make sure that they have a home.

(CHEERING) BOOKER: We will end veterans' homelessness. Veterans deserve everything they fought so bravely for, health care, education and good-paying jobs.

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BOOKER: The only way we build a nation of liberty and justice for all is by doing it together. We have to decide whether we will choose division and blame, or if we will do the hard work of conquering fear with faith, apathy with action, and hatred with love.

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BOOKER: But we know the challenges. We know that there are forces at work at home and abroad trying to get us to fight the wrong way and on their terms. From 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue to the Kremlin, we know what their strategy is. It's to pit us against each other for their own gain, to make us suspicious of one another, to make us fear each other, dislike each other, to make us hate each other. That's how they win.

Now critics are going to tell you and tell all of us that a campaign powered by grace and love and a deep faith in each other can't beat that. But I say it's the only way we win.

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BOOKER: You see, the president wants a race to the gutter and to fight us in the gutter. But to win, to win, we have to fight from higher ground in order to bring this country to higher ground.

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BOOKER: So we can't allow them to divide us. And we must also resist the urge to divide ourselves. Because the people on my block, the people gathered here and folks all across the country can't wait. They can't afford a politics of division that sacrifices progress for purity. They can't afford to allow this election to become just an exercise in political posturing or box-checking competition that is completely divorced from the realities of so many people who are struggling and hurting.

Look, I am the only Senator who comes home to a low-income, inner city, beautiful community.

(CHEERING)

BOOKER: And I know and you know that we don't have the privilege to wait for what fits into someone else's narrow view of what it means to be a progressive.

(CHEERING)

[14:00:00]