AP NEWS

Cory Booker: ‘I’m not a socialist’

March 19, 2019

Presidential candidate Sen. Cory Booker said in a new interview that he’s not embracing the “socialist” label like some of his fellow Democrats.

Mr. Booker sat down with MSNBC host Chris Matthews at a diner in Davenport, Iowa, where the two discussed a range of topics in front of a group of potential voters.

“I am for capitalism, and I’m tired of companies engaging in socialism where they outsource their costs onto society,” Mr. Booker said in the interview, which aired on Monday. “I live in Jersey. The Passaic River is polluted because they outsource their costs into my river and didn’t pay up for it. We now have a Superfund site from corporations pushing out their costs onto the public.

“So I’m a capitalist monopolies are not capitalism,” he continued. “If I asked people in this diner to raise their hands, ‘How many people want to start businesses,’ you might get half of the people. Small businesses are the ones creating jobs in this country. We have a system that’s designed towards the biggest corporations.”

Asked directly whether he considered himself a socialist, the senator responded, “I am not a socialist.”

“I am a Democrat,” he said. “I believe in fundamental democratic principles. I believe that we need more democracy, not less. I believe all this money in politics is anti-democratic. I think gerrymandering’s anti-democratic. Heck, I even watched an election where somebody won the majority of votes got three million more and the anti-democratic thing is the other person won.”

Mr. Booker also said he would not have supported the local campaign by Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and others that successfully pressured Amazon to scrap its new headquarters in New York City.

“I would not have supported running them out,” the senator said.