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Story highlights

"I am not open to being president," Booker said

Booker described the Trump presidency as a "bad thing"

CNN —  

New Jersey Democratic Sen. Cory Booker said Saturday he is not planning to run for president in 2020, telling CNN’s Brooke Baldwin he wants to instead focus on running an effective opposition to the Trump administration.

“Too many things can happen that can hurt people in our nation and around the globe if this President isn’t checked,” Booker told Baldwin, speaking at the Women’s March in Washington. “Right now, I don’t care about 2020. I don’t care about 2018.”

“I am not open to being president,” he added. “I don’t even want to have the discussion right now.”

Earlier in the interview, Booker described the Trump presidency as a “bad thing” that must be resisted.

“The reality is Donald Trump is President and bad things happen,” the junior senator from New Jersey told Baldwin. “I think this is a bad thing. But, they don’t define you. What defines you is how you choose to respond to that.”

Booker went on to compare Trump with his predecessors, former Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, whom Booker said brought “a dignity to the office and magnanimity.”

The former mayor of Newark, New Jersey, also blamed Hillary Clinton’s loss in the 2016 election on low voter turnout among his fellow Democrats.

“We did not show up in the election,” he said, speaking on “Newsroom.” “The low voter turnout is astonishing and now, unfortunately, this is a reaction to something bad. But that’s OK. That’s behind us now.”