Corey Booker: We Won’t Wait


NBC News, MSNBC and Telemundo will host the first 2020 presidential primary debate in June of 2019. This is the third in a series of BFIA’s coverage and commentary of the announcement speeches by the declared Democratic candidates for president for 2020 in no particular order.

Cory Booker announced his candidacy for President of the United States at a rally in his home town of Newark, New Jersey April 13. Watch the full video. Full text available on C-SPAN.

Campaign website “Where there is unity there is strength.”

It was a big speech. It was part inspirational and part Democratic red meat. It was values and policy. He opened with a nod to his mother and closed with a quote from MLK.  He spoke of justice, progress, common ground, coming together, the urgency of now, and love.

“Our sense of moral urgency comes from the most demanding of all values; it comes from love. Love of our families, community, country and each other… Love, courageous love, defiant love, the kind of love that works through heartbreak, pain and betrayal. The kind of love that keeps on going and never gives up, the kind of love that sacrifices and is essential to achieving justice.”

But mostly it was about justice.

“I believe.. we will bring our country together and will make justice real for all people and that is why I am running for President of the United States of America.”

And about how historically, our country’s progress happened when groups of citizens refused to wait for justice.

“We won’t wait for more thoughts and prayers for communities who have been shattered by gun violence…we will bring a fight to the NRA like they have never ever seen before. And we will win…  We won’t wait to meet the challenge and crisis of climate change because we have no choice..”

He spoke of policy issues mentioning health care (he supports Medicare for all starting with lowering the eligibility age), women’s rights,  gerrymandering, dark money in politics, homeless veterans, jobs, immigration, public education, criminal justice system and legalization of marijuana.  It was a sad statement of modern-day politics that he had to say this: “We will fully fund public schools.”

He spoke of what it means to be a progressive and said we must not let ourselves become divided.

I know and you know that we don’t have the privilege to wait for what fits into someone else’s narrow view on what it means to be a progressive. Our first priority must be to make peoples lives better. We must move forward as best we can and as fast as we can.

“Those folks that are closest to the pain and closest to the struggle should have an active hand in defining how we confront it. A real progressive movement refuses to stall out in righteous indignation.”

He closed with a quote from Martin Luther King:

For years now I have heard the word wait. This wait has almost always meant never. We come to see that justice too long delayed is justice denied.


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