Cory Booker

Senator from New Jersey
Jump to  stances on the issues
Cory Booker dropped out of the presidential race on January 13, 2020. This page is no longer being updated.
Booker is running a campaign focused on love, unity and identity. He first gained national recognition as mayor of Newark, New Jersey, at times answering pleas to shovel residents out after major snowstorms. He was elected to the US Senate in a 2013 special election.
Stanford University, B.A., 1991; Stanford University, M.A, 1992; University of Oxford, Rhodes scholar, 1994; Yale Law School, J.D., 1997
April 27, 1969
Mayor of Newark, 2006-2013;
Partner at the law firm Booker, Rabinowitz, Trenk, Lubetkin, Tully, DiPasquale and Webster, 2002-2006;
Newark City Council member, 1998-2002;
Staff attorney at the Urban Justice Center, 1997


Cory Booker Fast Facts
Updated 2:52 PM ET, Thu Apr 6, 2023
Here is a look at the life of Cory Booker, US senator from New Jersey and former 2020 Democratic presidential candidate. Personal Birth date: April 27, 1969 Birth place: Washington, DC Birth name: Cory Anthony Booker Father: Cary Booker, IBM executive Mother: Carolyn Booker, IBM executive Education: Stanford University, B.A., 1991; Stanford University, M.A, 1992; University of Oxford, Honors Degree, 1994 (Rhodes Scholar); Yale Law School, J.D., 1997 Religion: Baptist Other Facts Received a football scholarship to attend Stanford University. Became a vegetarian in 1992 and went vegan (no eggs or dairy) in 2014. Lived in a public housing complex in Newark called Brick Towers for eight years. The dilapidated building was demolished in 2007, the year after Booker moved out. While serving as mayor of Newark, Booker developed a reputation for engaging in personal acts of heroism like rescuing a neighbor from a house fire and chasing down a suspected bank robber. Using social media to connect with constituents, he shoveled snowbound driveways by request and invited nearby city residents to his home when Hurricane Sandy caused widespread power outages. Booker was elected mayor as a reformer with a vision to revitalize the struggling city yet high unemployment rates and violent crime continued to plague Newark while he was in office. Booker was criticized by the New Jersey state comptroller for failing to conduct oversight on the city's watershed management program, where corruption was rife. Timeline 1997 - Staff attorney at the Urban Justice Center in New York. 1998-2002 - Newark city councilman. 2002-2006 - Partner at the law firm, Booker, Rabinowitz, Trenk, Lubetkin, Tully, DiPasquale & Webster. 2006-2013 - Mayor of Newark, New Jersey. September 24, 2010 - Booker appears with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Mark Zuckerberg on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" to announce the Facebook founder's $100 million donation to Newark schools. The school reform initiative, centered on promoting privately-run charter schools as an option for parents with children in failing public schools, yields mixed results. Researchers at Harvard University conclude that Newark students showed improvement in English but made no significant gains in math. December 4, 2012 - Booker begins a week of food rationing to raise awareness of poverty and hunger in America, for the campaign SNAP Challenge. October 31, 2013 - Sworn in to the US Senate after winning a special election earlier in the month to replace the late Frank Lautenberg. November 4, 2014 - Reelected to the Senate. February 16, 2016 - Booker's memoir, "United: Thoughts on Finding Common Ground and Advancing the Common Good," is published. January 11, 2017 - Booker breaks with Senate precedent to deliver testimony against the appointment of Jeff Sessions as attorney general, becoming the first sitting senator to testify against a fellow sitting senator at a confirmation hearing for a cabinet position. August 1, 2017 - Booker introduces a bill to remove marijuana from the federal government's list of controlled substances. The Marijuana Justice Act would also expunge federal marijuana use and possession offenses from criminal records. The bill is referred to committee. August 3, 2017 - Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) introduces the Special Counsel Independence Protection Act. The measure, cosponsored by Booker, would shield Special Counsel Robert Mueller from actions taken by the executive branch to interfere with the probe of Russian interference during the 2016 election. The bill is sent to committee. September 6, 2018 - Republicans accuse Booker of grandstanding after he likens himself to Spartacus, a Roman slave who led a failed revolt, during Senate confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. December 21, 2018 - President Donald Trump signs a criminal justice reform bill, the First Step Act, into law. Booker endorsed the bipartisan legislation and added an amendment that limits the usage of solitary confinement for juveniles in federal custody. February 1, 2019 - Booker releases a video announcing his presidential candidacy. Later, he appears on the ABC talk show, "The View," participates in multiple radio interviews and holds a press conference in Newark. January 13, 2020 - Booker ends his 2020 presidential campaign after failing to qualify for the January 14, 2020, Democratic debate. March 9, 2020 - Booker endorses Joe Biden for president. November 3, 2020 - Reelected to the Senate. December 19, 2021 - Booker, who is vaccinated and boosted, says on Twitter that he tested positive for the coronavirus and is experiencing mild symptoms.


climate crisis
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Booker in September 2019 unveiled a $3 trillion plan for combating the climate crisis that promises to invest in clean energy, phase out the use of fossil fuels and create a carbon-neutral economy by 2045. The plan would require fossil fuel producers to pay a carbon fee on coal, natural gas and oil production and would end tax subsidies to those industries. Booker would create a “progressive climate dividend” paid to Americans through the carbon fees on fossil fuel producers. He also would take executive action to reverse many of Trump’s actions undoing Obama-era environmental initiatives. During the first Democratic primary debate, in June 2019, Booker cited climate change as one of the biggest threats facing the US. He supports the Green New Deal and has pushed back against critics of the plan who have called it impractical. “If we used to govern our dreams that way, we would have never gone to the moon,” Booker has said on the campaign trail. He has said he would keep the US in the Paris climate accord, a landmark 2015 deal on global warming targets that Trump has pledged to abandon. More on Booker’s climate crisis policy
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Booker has been known in the past as business-friendly, accepting $100 million from Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg for schools in Newark during his tenure as mayor. As a presidential candidate, Booker has called for more robust enforcement of antitrust laws, citing a “serious problem [in our country] with corporate consolidation.” During the first presidential debate, Booker said he would target companies like Amazon that pay low federal taxes or none at all. The senator has also discussed rolling back the 2017 Trump tax cuts. According to his campaign, Booker has stood by his opposition of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, an 11-nation deal negotiated under Obama that Trump withdrew from in one of his first acts as President. He has opposed the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement – the successor deal to the North American Free Trade Agreement negotiated by Trump – as it is written. More on Booker’s economic policy
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As Newark mayor, Booker revamped public schools, aided by a $100 million donation from Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. Booker has drawn criticism for strengthening public charter schools as part of his efforts. He has pledged to raise teacher pay and commit more resources to public schools, including fully funding special education programs. Booker has proposed a “baby bonds” system that would create savings accounts for Americans when they are born; after the person turns 18, the money can be used for college tuition or homeownership or retirement. He has co-sponsored a bill that would establish a state-federal partnership aimed at helping higher education institutions provide assistance to students. More on Booker’s education policy
gun violence
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Booker has proposed federally mandated gun licenses, modeled after driver’s licenses. “If you need a license to drive a car,” he has said, “you need a license to own a gun.” His plan would also expand background checks and fund programs for communities beset by gun violence. It would ban so-called assault weapons, high-capacity magazines and bump stocks. He has proposed regulation and oversight of gun manufacturers. He would also close the “boyfriend loophole,” preventing people who abused dating partners from buying or owning firearms. More on Booker’s gun violence policy
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Booker has co-sponsored Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ “Medicare for All” proposal, legislation that would create a government-run health care plan and essentially eliminate the private insurance industry. Still, he is in favor of keeping private insurance plans. When asked in February 2019 if he would do away with private health care, he said, “Even countries that have vast access to publicly offered health care still have private health care, so no.” He is a co-sponsor of Medicare-X, which would let individuals and small businesses buy government-backed insurance policies, known as a public option, on the Affordable Care Act exchanges. Additionally, he supports lowering the Medicare age to 50. Booker has pledged to work to drive down the price of prescription drugs, including co-sponsoring a measure that would annually review whether brand-name drugs are excessively priced relative to those in other countries. He has also come out in favor of importing drugs from Canada and other developed nations. More on Booker’s health care policy
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Booker has proposed a range of executive actions to immediately roll back Trump’s immigration policies, including ending immigrant detention and family separations, and decriminalizing crossing the border without documentation. He would expand Obama-era protections for some undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children and those who are parents of American citizens. He ridiculed Trump’s national emergency declaration on the border wall, and voted against a spending bill – which ultimately passed and was signed into law – that provided $1.357 billion for 55 miles of new barriers. Booker has also endorsed accepting a minimum of 110,000 refugees annually, a significant increase over the historically low levels of resettlement during the Trump administration. More on Booker’s immigration policy


What to watch for in CNN's town hall with Mike Pence
Updated 6:01 AM ET, Wed Jun 7, 2023
Former Vice President Mike Pence is set to field questions from Iowa voters in a CNN town hall Wednesday night after officially announcing off his bid for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination earlier in the day. The town hall will offer an early window into how Pence, who served under former President Donald Trump, plans to run against his prior boss, who's the front-runner for the GOP nomination. The two men have been at odds over Trump's effort to overturn the 2020 presidential election and incite an insurrection at the US Capitol on January 6, 2021. Wednesday will also shed light on how Pence, a former Indiana congressman and governor, plans to try to differentiate himself from the early polling leaders like Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on issues like abortion, Russia's invasion of Ukraine and more. The town hall, hosted by CNN's Dana Bash, begins at 9 p.m. ET at Grand View University in Des Moines. The live audience will include Iowa Republicans and Iowa voters who say they plan to pre-register to take part in the Republican caucuses by the deadline set by the state GOP and who pledge to appear in person at the caucuses. Here are six things to watch in CNN's town hall: Pence vs. Trump on Capitol riot Pence was a Trump loyalist through their two campaigns as running mates and four years in office. But the two had a public falling-out after Trump urged Pence to attempt to overturn the results by rejecting some swing states' Electoral College votes. Pence insisted he had no constitutional authority to do so in his ceremonial role presiding over Congress as those votes were counted. Pence first took on his former boss in a February 2022 speech in which he was critical of the pressure Trump privately and publicly heaped on him. "President Trump was wrong," Pence said then. "I had no right to overturn the election." He has also said Trump endangered Pence's family, which was in the Capitol on January 6. Trump was slow to release a message telling his supporters to stop attacking the Capitol while Pence was inside and some of the mob were chanting death threats against him. Trump has continued to repeat falsehoods about voter fraud, which millions of his supporters have bought into, and he once again refused to concede that he lost during a CNN town hall last month. It's not yet clear to what extent Pence is willing to place his differences with Trump over the aftermath of the 2020 election at the center of his campaign. Pence's campaign announcement video, released early Wednesday, does not mention Trump. Wednesday's town hall will shed light on how the former vice president plans to approach the issue. New messages from Pence? Pence has been a regular speaker at conservative gatherings for months. But this week, when he filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission to officially enter the 2024 race, the ground shifted. Now that he is a candidate, Pence will have to repair his image in the eyes of many conservatives who cast him aside after Trump's 2020 loss (and in some cases have booed him since). He'll have to offer a message that stands on its own, outside the context of his relationship with the former president. CNN's town hall -- following his official campaign launch earlier in the day -- will be an important opportunity to begin to do just that. The Iowa caucuses, which kick off the GOP nominating process in early 2024, will likely be crucial to Pence's hopes. "Iowa feels more like Indiana than any other state in the nation," he said in Des Moines last month. Abortion a key differentiator? In a Sunday night CNN town hall, one of Pence's rivals, Nikki Haley, the former South Carolina governor and United Nations ambassador, was coy about her position on a federal abortion ban -- refusing to say whether she would support such a ban and after how many weeks into pregnancy it should take effect. Trump similarly refused to answer that question in the CNN town hall last month, saying only that he would determine what "is great for the country and what's fair for the country." DeSantis signed into law a six-week ban in Florida, triggering claims that the measure could be a liability in the general election if he wins the GOP nomination. The politics are clear: Conservatives oppose abortion rights and won a momentous victory when the Supreme Court reversed Roe v. Wade. But the political battle over abortion rights, particularly at the state level, has benefitted Democrats since then, including playing a key role in the party's midterm success last year and in flipping the Wisconsin Supreme Court majority to liberals earlier this year. Pence, though, has been more willing to embrace a national effort to outlaw abortion. He said on New Hampshire's WMUR last month that he would "look for ways to advance the sanctity of life at the national level." He has also delved into more specific fights. He railed last month against a push in Ohio to enshrine abortion rights in the state's constitution via a ballot measure. He also said on CBS in April that he has "deep concerns" about the Food and Drug Administration's approval of the abortion drug mifepristone 23 years ago. How Pence differentiates himself from his rivals on abortion rights and restrictions could place the issue at the center of the campaign -- and play out in more detail on debate stages this summer and fall. Pence's faith at the forefront The battle over abortion policy is just one way in which Pence is likely to put his Christian faith at the forefront of his bid for the presidency, and there is a key demographic -- evangelical voters in Iowa -- to whom Pence will likely have to appeal in order to rise in the polls. The former vice president frequently calls himself "a Christian, a conservative and a Republican, in that order." He's likely to highlight that faith, and detail the ways in which it has shaped him, as he launches his campaign. It won't be a departure from Pence's public life: his faith was a central theme in his bids for Congress and governor. Differences on Ukraine Another issue over which Pence is at odds with Trump and DeSantis is the United States' support for Ukraine against Russia's invasion. He has said there is no room in the GOP for "apologists for (Russian President Vladimir) Putin," drawing a contrast with Trump and DeSantis, who have been more tepid about the US role in the war. The issue could be one of the clearest differences among the GOP 2024 contenders, and one that is all but certain to be a focal point of debates later this year. Who is Pence's target: Trump or DeSantis? While early polls show Trump leading the Republican pack, many of the party's hopefuls have instead trained their fire on DeSantis -- an indicator that they believe that in order to take on Trump, they must first supplant the Florida governor as his chief rival. Many contenders, including Trump, Haley and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who entered the race on Tuesday, have hammered DeSantis over his legal battle with Disney. Haley at her CNN town hall Sunday called it "vendetta stuff." Whether Pence follows suit and targets DeSantis -- and how -- could clarify how he sees his potential path to the nomination and set the tone for the coming months.