For 2020 presidential candidate Sen. Cory Booker, this race is bigger than getting Donald Trump out of office. In an interview with ESSENCE’s News & Politics Director Yesha Callahan, Booker said, for him, it’s all about creating a better America with a common purpose. 

“Don’t make this election about one guy in one office,” Booker said. The 50-year-old former Newark, New Jersey, mayor made it clear that this election could have a major impact on the trajectory of our country. As many Democrats focus on booting Trump out of the office, Booker said that just won’t cut it for him.

“That to me is a low aspiration. It gets us out of a valley but doesn’t get us to the mountaintop,” he said. “My goal in this race is to not just to be about what I’m against but trying to inspire people about what we can be for.” 

The New Jersey senator said he plans to make big moves if elected in 2020. In his first 90 days, Booker said that he will be signing a fair share of executive orders. 

“For me as president we got to start making this country work for everyone and we will all benefit as a result and that’s the fight that I’m going to do.”

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He started by telling ESSENCE that he will re-enroll the US in The Paris Agreement on Climate. He will attempt to undo lowered fuel efficiency standards, address methane and mercury rules. He also emphasized his commitment to environmental injustice and holding polluters accountable for the impact on quality of life. 

Further, Booker said that his White House will be a center for reproductive freedom. He intends to coordinate with departments to make sure women have access to the healthcare they need, including contraceptives and doulas. 

Booker said he will make sure the next Department of Justice cracks down on voting suppression and stands up for civil rights for the LGBTQ+ community.

“Our politics are becoming more tribal, where it’s a zero-sum game—us versus them. We hate each other,” he said. “I think the next leader is going to have to be someone who can build the new majorities we need to get things done, actually through congress.”


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