Booker kicks off presidential campaign with Newark rally

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NEWARK -

Saturday marked the official hometown kickoff for 2020 presidential hopeful and New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker.

"Decades of unjust policies have destroyed our economy, extracted money from our common wealth and plowed it into tax cuts for the wealthy and wars overseas we didn't have to fight," Booker said.

"Critics will tell us that a campaign powered by grace and love and a deep faith in each other" can't win, the senator said. "But I say it's the only way we win." 

Booker's first rally kicks off his two-week "Justice For All" tour.

"This community taught me all about that love," Booker said. "It's not that feel-good, easy-going love. It is strong, courageous love. It is defiant love. The kind of love that works through heartbreak and pain and betrayal. It's the kind of love that keeps on going and never gives up. The kind of love that scarifies, the kind of love that's essential to achieving justice."

 
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Booker says he's been seeking social justice in the Senate through marijuana legalization efforts, environmental justice with the legacy of polluters in poor and black communities, and criminal justice with his criminal justice reform bill, which was signed into law by President Donald Trump late last year.

"I know that Cory will be the kind of president whose leadership will bring our country together in the face of difficult challenges," says Booker's mother Carolyn Booker. "Cory will be the kind of president who doesn't just lead people, but will listen to the people."

Gov. Phil Murphy, first lady Tammy Murphy, Sen. Bob Menendez and Newark Mayor Ras Baraka all spoke at the rally.

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