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Booker: 'This Election Is Not A Referendum On One Guy In One Office'

John Pemble / IPR
New Jersey Sen. Corey Booker said this election is "a referendum on who we are and who we must be to each other in the generation ahead.”";

New Jersey U.S. Sen. Corey Booker says this is a moral moment in America.

In a speech on the Des Moines Register Political Soapbox at the Iowa State Fair Saturday, the Democratic presidential candidate said the nation has never been free of bigotry and hate, or of violence, but it has managed to come together to achieve great things. 

“Regardless of what your party is, there are forces every day trying to tear our country apart along racial lines or partisan lines.  That’s not how we’ve achieved such extraordinary achievements in the past,” he said, mentioning things like defeating the Nazis in World War II, putting men on the moon, and mapping the human genome.

“I believe this election is not a referendum on one guy in one office,” Booker said. “This election is a referendum on who we are and who we must be to each other in the generation ahead.”

He said the country faces big challenges, like climate change, a generation that has a lower life expectancy than the one before it, and too many people who work fulltime yet don’t earn enough money to make ends meet.

Booker also told the crowd he believes health care should be a right, that there should be universal background checks before gun purchases, and that care of children should be improved – from improved prenatal care for all women to affordable childcare and universal preschool.

Michael Leland is IPR's News Director