Presidential candidate Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) revealed on Tuesday that he sometimes gets the urge to physically assault President Donald Trump.
“Donald Trump is a guy who — you understand, he hurts you,” Booker said while appearing on “Late Night with Seth Meyers.” “My testosterone sometimes makes me want to feel like punching him, which would be bad for this elderly, out of shape man that he is if I did that. This physically weak specimen.”
“But you see what I’m talking there? That’s his tactics and you don’t beat a bully like him, fighting him, on his tactics, on his terms, using his turf,” he continued. “He’s the body shamer. He’s the guy that tries to drag people into the gutter.”
Booker recalled a time while he was campaigning in Iowa and, prior to taking the stage at a rally, a former Stanford University tight end approached him. The football player reportedly put his arm around Booker and asked that the New Jersey senator punch Trump in the face. Booker reportedly replied that such an action would be a felony.
“This is a moral moment in America, and to me, what we need for our next leader, especially after the time for moral vandalism that we’re in right now, is we need a leader that’s not going to call us to the worst of who we are, but call us to the best of who we are,” Booker said. “In this moral moment we need to not to talk about necessarily what we’re against, but what we’re for, and the best way of looking at this is just our history.”
“The gardens of our democracy have never been free of the weeds of bigotry, hatred, demagoguery,” he continued. “Every generation has had them.”
Harkening back to Trump’s July 17 campaign rally in North Carolina, Booker compared the president’s rhetoric to infamous segregationist Gov. George Wallace (D-AL).
During the aforementioned rally, Trump continued his attack on Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) for her anti-American and anti-Israel rhetoric.
“So Representative Omar blamed the United States for the terrorist attacks on our country, saying that terrorism is a reaction to our involvement in other people’s affairs,” Trump told the crowd at the time. “She smeared U.S. service members involved in Black Hawk Down — in other words, she slandered the brave Americans who were trying to keep peace in Somalia.”
“Omar has a long history of launching vicious, anti-Semitic screeds,” the president continued as the crowd erupted in a “send her back” chant.
“How did we beat [racists] before?” Booker asked before warning against mistaking strength for meanness.
“We beat Bull Connor, for example, in Birmingham, not by bringing bigger dogs and bigger fire hoses and matching his demagoguery with more, but these were incredible artists of activism that called to the moral imagination of a country,” he continued. “That called us to a revival of that civic grace, that pulled black folks and white folks and more folks together that relegated that demagogue to the ash heap of history.”
“We will not beat Donald Trump by trying to be more like him, but by showing that we are not like him,” Booker added. “We are not weak morally, we are not weak mentally, we’re a strong nation and we’re a nation that unites.”