Booker Discusses Presidential Bid, Impeachment

Jersey Democrat casts his campaign as the victim of a ‘perfect storm’ of factors, despite resonating with voters at grassroots level

In his first extensive remarks for local television since ending his campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination, U.S. Sen. Cory Booker offered a post mortem on his failed bid, and was sharply critical of the constraints imposed by the GOP majority in the Senate on the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump.

Talking via Skype from his Senate office in Washington, D.C, before the impeachment proceedings began Thursday, the junior senator from New Jersey said his campaign had been a victim of a “perfect storm,” including a pre-primary process that repeatedly left him off the debate stage, the deep pockets of some of his competitors and his required presence on Capitol Hill for the trial of the Republican president.

Still sounding very much like a candidate, Booker said the national-unity platform he brought to the campaign was “the message America needs right now. We need to understand that we are not each other’s enemy.”

Booker said he found “insulting” the rules established for Trump’s trial, where under the Constitution, members of the upper house of the federal legislature are called upon to decide whether or not to remove the president from office.

“It’s the worst jury duty ever, because I can’t imagine going through it to be a juror and basically having it announced that we’re not going to have any witnesses in the trial,“ Booker said.