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Booker tries to jump start presidential campaign

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on April 13, 2019 - Duration: 02:15s

Booker tries to jump start presidential campaign

U.S. Senator Cory Booker launched a two-week national tour on Saturday with a rally in his adopted hometown of Newark, New Jersey, aiming to put momentum behind a presidential campaign stuck in the middle of a growing pack of Democratic candidates.

Conway G.

Gittens reports.

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Booker tries to jump start presidential campaign

SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH): SENATOR CORY BOOKER, U.S. SENATOR AND DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE, SAYING: "I believe we will make justice real for all people and that is why I am running for President of the United States of America.

It was not the kind of kick-off Senator Cory Booker planned.

His first major presidential campaign rally -interrupted Saturday by a pro-Palestinian heckler seated prominently behind the speaking candidate.

The protester had to be escorted out.

But Booker stayed on message as he kicked-off his so-called "Justice for All" tour before a Newark, New Jersey hometown crowd.

SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH): SENATOR CORY BOOKER, U.S. SENATOR AND DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE, SAYING: "We won't wait for criminal justice reform.

We will end the system of mass incarceration in America.

We will invest in people, their education, their mental health, their addiction.

We will end the school-to-prison pipeline.

We won't wait to legalize marijuana at a federal level.

We will pass universal background checks.

We will pass assault weapons.

And close the loopholes that allow the people who should never have a gun to get one.

And folks we will bring a fight to the NRA like they have never, ever seen before.

And we will win." By focusing on social issues, Booker is attempting to add some zing to his campaign, which is middling among a crowded field of fellow Democrats like California Senator Kamala Harris, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren and South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttiegieg.

Booker is trailing in the polls and in fundraising.

He's been forced to go on defense against criticism his focus on a campaign centered on unity and love is too soft.

He hits the road for two weeks of rallies - with planned stops in early nominating states like Iowa and Nevada.

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