tv Road to the White House 2020 Sen. Cory Booker in New Hampshire CSPAN December 10, 2018 10:02am-10:34am EST
farm bill in the government spending bill. when the house comes into session at noon, we will have live coverage here on c-span. new congress takes office in january, it will have the youngest, most diverse freshman class in recent history. new congress. new leaders. watch it live on c-span starting january 3. >> new jersey senator cory booker spoke at the new hampshire democrat's post-midterm election celebration this past saturday. after the senator's remarks, he took pictures with attendees to the event. are celebrating this phenomenal victory. you are here to celebrate each of the great officials we heard from and all the great things they are going to do. the next speaker is here because he deserves to be here.
he gave more support to our house caucus and our senate caucus, our candidates for congress, and to the coordinated campaigns than any other person. [applause] >> when he makes a commitment, he more than delivers. he is an enormously effective member of congress and the u.s. senate. spokesperson for so many of our causes. a dynamic speaker at that. to us, he is the best friend new hampshire democrats had in 2018. please welcome senator cory booker! [applause] sen. booker: hello, new hampshire! hello, new hampshire!
first of all, i just want to say hello to everybody here but a lot of people. the fire marshal came in here and moved people. the fire marshal was called in , iause as a great minister look up to you in new hampshire and you have been spiritual arsonists, setting people on fire, igniting a lot of spirit in the state. i am grateful for that. i am here to celebrate you and what you all accomplished. i have a lot of gratitude because the best friends i have in new hampshire are your two united states senators, who are amazing human beings. [applause]
senator booker: i am grateful for congresswoman kuster and i'm happy you believe in a little bit of gender diversity, and sent pappas down as well. and i am here because of the people in this room and in the overflow room. i want you to know, on my trips up here and my involvement in this campaign, it really rekindled in me the sense of deep-seated faith in who we are as a people. this election was not determined by the people that are on the tickets. it was not determined by the person within the white house. this election was determined by the spirit of the american people. you all know that margaret .ead's saying you should never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. in fact, it is the only thing that ever has. there is a spirit i want to celebrate in these few minutes i have before you that is so needed in america right now. it is this understanding that there is a lot of challenges in this country and around the world. we have a choice and this state made it.
it is this choice we have in every moment of our lives, to either accept things as they are, or take responsibility for changing it. folks who sit on the sidelines folks whoers, think democracy is a spectator sport, they are contributing to the problem. we know and you all have shown that the opposite of justice is not injustice. action. it is apathy and indifference. we are here is a country not just because of the imperfect geniuses that founded the nation. i love american history, and i revere our founders. but you all know that this nation is not where it is simply because of our founders. they put these ideals in place that were not in a reality. when we whitewash american history and get rid of the pain and challenges and bigotry, we
actually discount the greatness of this country. the truth of america is our founders put these ideals in place, but african-americans were fractions of human beings. women were not equal citizens. native americans are referred to as savages in the declaration independence. the truth of this country we , were made great because ordinary citizens made an extraordinary commitment to the ideals of this country. it is that commitment that new hampshire showed, understanding , hey, we did not get women's rights because one day in the senate the men came and said, you know what, it's time women have the right to vote. no. it was americans in communities, small groups of people that got together across race and religion, that organized for the cause of the country. it was not strom thurmond who one day came to the senate floor and said, it is about time the negro people had civil rights. no.
it was multiracial, multiethnic coalitions. from all over this nation. it was people who said, i will not just add up and pledge allegiance to the flag, because but when when i say it liberty and justice for all, i will fight for them. this is the truth of america. we have made changes every moment in american history, even in dark days where racism and bigotry try to divide the nation. it was ordinary americans standing tall from the very founding of our country. we are 50 miles away from bunker hill. it was not the great names we hail in history. it was not george washington or alexander hamilton. it was everyday americans, calling to arms, standing up. i met one of your new house .embers, bill brody he came up to me and said in the 1960's, i was drafted in the vietnam war, i was going to answer the call of the country.
that is what inspires me about this community. it is what inspires me about america and why i am here. i am from northern new jersey. i moved onto a street called martin luther king boulevard. i got my ba from stanford but my phd on the streets of newark. i was arrogant and full of myself law student, knocking on the door and saying, i am here to help you. i'm cory booker. and she looked at me like, boy, you are the one who needs some help. she will never appear in the history books, but she brought me down through the courtyard into martin luther king boulevard. the street with a legendary name. and this elderly woman looked up at me and said, before you can help me, tell me what you see. i said, what are you talking
about? tell me about the street and community. i described what martin luther king boulevard looked like. i talked about the crackhouse on the street and the projects. the drug dealing. the more i talked, the more upset she looked. suddenly she said, you cannot , help me. she wheeled around and started walking away from me. i was confused. what does she mean? i ran after her and grabbed her from behind, very respectably, mind you. [laughter] she said, "the world you see outside of you is the reflection of what you have inside of you. if you only see problems and darkness, that is all that it will ever be. but if every time you open your eyes you see hope and possibility and the face of god, you can be somebody who helps me." [applause]
i am looking at a gathering of some stubborn americans. who have never given up on the ideals of the country. ms. jones taught me that the definition of hope is not that you see light at the end of the tunnel or something on the horizon that gives you hope. it is generated from within. it is the conviction that despair will not have the last word. a lot of people around this nation worrying about what is going on in not recognizing with the state did, if there is going to be an answer, if it is to be, it is up to me. and you all organized and fought. every single day, volunteered. literally hundreds of thousands of phone calls. hundreds of thousands of doorknocking. you all came together and understood we are a nation of
rugged individualism and self-reliant, but the truth of america has always been the ability for us to come together, to standogether, together, to struggle together, sacrifice together. we understand the old african saying if you want to go fast, go alone. but if you want to go far, go together. rugged individualism did not get us to the moon. rugged individualism did not map the human gene. we did these things together. people got together in small groups, like you. it was folks who met in church had the ending of jim crow. meeting in barns, in church basements, plotting the greatest infrastructure project our nation has ever seen, the underground railroad. you all like miss jones on my saw an america better than the one we are experiencing. you saw and refused to accept what is and demanded what can be. you demanded it through your
work. we should not be a nation where mentally ill folks are stigmatized, where they cannot get the health care they deserve. where people put aside their prescription drug because they cannot afford it. how can we be a nation that was built on education but is now is investing in public education? how can we be a nation with a criminal justice system that treats you better if you are rich and guilty and if you are poor and innocent? thousands of jurisdictions, children can find unleaded gasoline but not unleaded water. you knew that if it was to be, it is up to me. that is what i celebrate. this is what our country must
have going forward. i call upon everyone here to continue the work. you heard it from my colleague, jeanne shaheen. you know the work ahead of us. we know change is not made in one swoop. it is not a light switch to turn on-and-off. martin luther king talked about how long it would take to make justice happen. not long, because truth crushed to the earth will rise again. no lie can live forever. the ark of the moral universe is long but bends towards justice. the great thing is you are waiting for the arc to bend. you know the only way this country has ever seen justice happen is for us to bend the arc. [applause]
i want to close with something that might seem strange to talk about. now that we have flipped the two houses and legislature, i am blown away by the fact that you elected young people and younger people. diversity, gender diversity, race diversity, lgbtq diversity, it is amazing. but i caution everybody here, lincoln talked about power. to paraphrase what he said, if you want to see the true character of a person, do not view them in adversity. give them power. look around this country. right now. you see people elected to high office and how they are using their power not as a means for expanding democracy, they are using power to protect power. to suppress democracy. from gerrymandering to what is
happening in michigan where they are trying to work to undermine the power of the people coming into office. we are seeing voter suppression. that is not who we are as a country. more than this, we are elected not to reflect the things we are working against. this is not a time to meet hate with hate, darkness with darkness. the call of the country has always been love. anyone who tells you that the highest aspiration of the country should be tolerance, go home and tell somebody you live with that you tolerate them. [laughter] come on. our founders at the end of the declaration of independence said we must as a nation, if we are going to make it work, we must must pledge to each other our lives, fortunes, and honor.
if we are going to make it, we need each other. that is what love is about. seeing someone's dignity and worth. knowing that dignity is indivisible. the dignity of another american cannot be diminished without my own dignity being diminished. if your child is elevated and getting a great education and getting health care, if they have jobs that offeaffirm dignity my kids do better as a , result. i want to end with a story about who you are and one of my greatest professors in the streets of newark and his words to me which i hold onto. i will never let anyone pull me down so low as to hate them. this country has enough hate, anti-semitism, trade.
what we need now are courageous actors who called to the conscience of our country a higher moral imagination and a revival. we are here because of the kindness and generosity of americans who show the greatest love possible. people who stormed beaches in normandy and did not look to the left and right and wonder if people were republicans. they were people who just stood for the country. black, white, christians, jews, stood next to each other not for republican or democratic ideals, but for american ideals. so i end with this story. when i got involved in the work as an organizer, i met an elderly man named frank. he ran the longest tenant rent strike against the federal government. he was one of these guys, he was not a great speaker but one of the most determined voices for housing in the city.
it is one of the reasons i work on housing issues so much in the senate. i got to know him and he changed my life. i thought i was going to be a lawyer representing tenants but he pushed me to run for city council. i got elected because this guy would go to buildings and knock on doors. he saw things in me i did not see in myself. when i got elected to that office, he told me, do not leave this neighborhood. he and miss jones sat me down and said people get elected and forget where they came from. i still lived in that neighborhood where people do not confuse wealth with worth because of these leaders. i got elected on frank got older. it was more difficult for me to see him deal with challenges of
health. eventually, his eyesight went, and i would knock on his door and he would open the door. i knew he could not see me so i would say "frank, it is cory." he would open the door and say, i see you. no, you don't. he would open the door and say, i see you. i remember how he got older and i started taking him to the supermarket to make sure he ate. i took him to the movies because he demanded he go. my ignorance, you cannot see the screen. he is like, no, i want to sit and enjoy the experience. eventually he was in hospice. my ego, i was upset when i would visit him in hospice that the room was not packed. that there were not people by his bedside, talking to him. because he had kept thousands of people with a roof over his head.
-- over their head. he had taken down slum lord's. why was his room not full? but he understood that life is not about popularity, it is about purpose. it is not about celebrity, it is about significance. it is not about how many people show up when you are dead. it is how many people you show up for when you are alive. [applause] let me leave you with frank's words. on the last day i saw him alive, i went to go to his bedside, as i'm getting ready to walk in, nurses there stop me. please, hug health care professionals. they are incredible. [applause]
firefighters, police, teachers, you do not appreciate them until you are the family in the hospital and you see the work they do. i had become friends with them. they pulled me aside and told me it would not be long. they said he could not speak. i opened his door and i could hear his shallow breath. i said, "frank, it's cory." as i started walking to his bed, i saw him struggling to force out the words, and he said them. "i see you." i went to his bed and i was now mayor of the city. i sat down next to him and i held him and i told him how much head and ihis for told him how much he meant to me. i knew it might be the last time we saw each other.
and i had to go but i held him tight and kissed him and said my last words which were i love you. and he forced himself to speak. he said, i love you. i got up and walked out the door and closed it behind me and i would never see him again alive. his last words, i want to leave you with the words. i see you. i love you. i see you. i love you. that is the story of our nation. that is the story of the group gathered here. it is not about partisanship or tribalism. i see you. i love you. i see you. i see your dignity. i see your worth and value. our very national anthem starts with those words. "o say, can you see?" the dignity of your fellow american. "o say, can you see?"
through the bigotry. "o say, can you see?" we share one story. i love you. to understand that you cannot lead the people if you do not love them. i love you is understanding patriotism is love of country and you cannot love your country unless you love your fellow countrymen and women. all of them. i love you. [applause] i see you. i love you. i see you i love you. don't let anybody tear you down to hate. do not let darkness make you dark. this is a time that we must see each other. we must elevate each other and love each other and we must fight together for each other. if we live like that and love like that and serve like that and sacrifice like that, this will not be the last victory for new hampshire and our country. -.
this will not be the last victory for new hampshire and our country. we will elevate the nation not to partisan victories, but for victory for all so that we truly live the calling of our foundation. that we will be one day a nation of liberty and justice for all. thank you, everyone. thank you. thank you. thank you. go, new hampshire dems. thank you. [applause] ♪
>> thank you for coming. >> thank you for having me. >> one to get a picture together? -- want to get a picture together? >> yes. [laughter] >> let me see this for a second. get in the picture. >> how are you? >> thank you so much. >> for president. love your message. >> pullehold on. >> it works. tell me your name. i'm honored to be in new hampshire.
>> only over $200. >> i will let my team have this. you abouttalk to this. something, i want to know exactly. >> yes. if we get other people to deny corporate contributions. >> thank you so much. >> thank you. >> there we go. >> we will leave this event with senator cory booker to go live to the british house of commons for a statement by prime minister theresa may. a possible delay in the
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