Trump says Booker ‘destroyed’ Newark – but did he really?

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NEWARK -

It is not a big secret that President Donald Trump and U.S. Sen. Cory Booker do not get along.

The Republican president criticized the Democratic junior senator at a rally Tuesday evening.

“Here’s a guy who destroyed, practically by himself, the city of Newark, New Jersey,” Trump said.

Booker served as the 36th mayor of Newark from 2006 until 2013. Was it destroyed under his leadership?

Newark residents who spoke with News 12 New Jersey were mixed on their opinions. Some thought that Booker was not a very good mayor, while others said that he helped to improve the city.

The president’s comments came as Newark celebrated the opening of a new luxury high-rise building in the city’s growing downtown area. It is located across from the New Jersey Performing Arts Center and within walking distance of a new Starbucks and Whole Foods. It is also near the redeveloped Military Park.

Current Newark Mayor Ras Baraka did not wish to comment about the president’s statements.

But state Sen. Teresa Ruiz, who is a Newark native, says that much of the success of Newark’s downtown is because of the work of Booker and those who came before him.

“This project, when you talk about length of time, it was during his tenure as the mayor here. When we think of every elected official and the opportunities to contribute, every person brings a uniqueness to that,” Ruiz says.

News 12 reached out to Sen. Booker’s office for comment on the president’s remarks, but did not hear back.

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