Cory Booker (D-NJ) is an American politician and a current United States Senator from New Jersey, formerly serving as the Mayor of Newark, New Jersey. He has expressed his positions on a wide range of political issues through his public comments and record as mayor.
He has been described as a liberal, a moderate, and a neoliberal. Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey — has been described by a longtime friend as having a "libertarian bent." In a July 2013 Salon interview, Booker said that “there’s nothing in that realm of progressive politics where you won’t find me.” However, in a September 2013 interview with The Grio, when asked if he considered himself a progressive, he avoided the term, saying he is a Democrat and an American. George Norcross III described Booker as "a new Democrat — a Democrat that’s fiscally conservative yet socially progressive." In May 2012, Booker defended Bain Capital’s record and criticized Obama's attack on private equity. In response, the Republican National Committee, created a petition called "I Stand With Cory Booker". He has also received criticism from both progressives and liberals, such as Ronald Rice and Rush Holt.
Booker opposes overturning Roe v. Wade.
When asked if affirmative action in university admissions should be based on class or race or banned completely, Booker said both race and class should be considered and cited the 2003 US Supreme Court ruling, Grutter v. Bollinger.
When Cory Booker became Mayor of Newark, New Jersey in 2006, he was facing a $180 million budget crisis. When he left his office in 2013, he left the city with a balanced budget for the first time in a decade, twice as much affordable housing, two new hotels, a spate of made-over parks, a new residential tower, two (possibly three) new office towers, $150 million educational complex in the heart of Newark’s downtown, and Newark having a larger population than when he entered office. He managed to balance the budget by raising taxes 20%, laying off hundreds of cops, cutting spending, and working with private sector-led urban development from wealthy investors.
Booker supports smart spending and investment now with long-term deficit reduction efforts to ensure economic prosperity.
He has called for amending the Patriot Act and said he was "troubled" by the revelations of the scope of the National Security Agency’s secret spy programs, but has shied away from specifics. He voted for the USA Freedom Act which re-authorized certain provisions of the Patriot Act in modified form.
Booker believes climate change is man-made and supports cap-and-trade or carbon tax approach in dealing with greenhouse gas emissions.
Booker sits on the board of advisers of the political action committee Democrats for Education Reform, was on the board of Alliance for School Choice until 2008, co-founded the Excellent Education For Everyone, a board member of the Black Alliance for Educational Options, and has spoken favorably of StudentsFirst. He is an advocate of education reform and privatization of education; supporting things such as charter schools, school vouchers, and merit pay for teachers. In September 2010, with the support of Governor Chris Christie, Booker obtained a $100 million pledge from Facebook Inc. founder Mark Zuckerberg to Newark Public Schools.
Booker has routinely defended the right of law-abiding citizens right to own legal fire arms and blames most shootings on criminals with illegal guns.
Booker has called the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act imperfect, said it needs to be improved, and wants to control health care costs. He has not commented on a single-payer healthcare system. He opposes cutting Medicare and supports expanding the program.
Booker supports the passage of the DREAM Act.
Booker is a strong outspoken advocate of same-sex marriage and claimed New Jersey’s civil union law was not only bigoted, but also discriminated against New Jersey’s same-sex couples who were denied 1,100 federal rights, privileges and benefits afforded to married couples. After Governor Chris Christie vetoed a bill legalizing same-sex marriage in New Jersey and said the issue of same-sex marriage should be left to a public referendum of the people of New Jersey, Booker criticized him and said that civil rights are guaranteed by the US Constitution and should not be allowed on the ballot. As Newark Mayor, Booker refused to perform any marriage ceremonies until same-sex couples were legally allowed to marry in New Jersey. On October 21, 2013, 12:01 am, the date when same-sex marriage became legal in New Jersey, Booker began performing same-sex and opposite-sex marriages in New Jersey.
In November 2013, Booker co-sponsored and voted for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. In January 2014, he co-sponsored the Respect for Marriage Act.
Booker supports raising the federal minimum wage to $10.10.
Booker championed “enterprise zones,” a free-market approach to solving urban blight credited to the late Jack Kemp, a hard-core supply-sider and occasional Republican presidential contender who helped raise money for Booker’s first mayoral campaign."
Besides social media advances, Booker wants to see the rest of the tech sector reach its fullest potential, and to do that, he thinks the U.S. government needs to ease up on regulations. “We’re not moving at the speed of innovation due to regulations,” he said, adding that because of this, key industries are leaving the U.S. to work on projects in other countries where the rules aren’t as strict. For example, the Federal Aviation Administration has hindered drone innovation to the point where drone companies are leaving the U.S. to test and build in Europe. “We’re being left behind on everything from next-generation nuclear energy to driverless cars and biologics,” Booker said, “and we cannot get left behind.”
While running for Senate, Booker said he opposed raising the retirement age for social security except for people in their 20s or younger. Booker later tweeted that he opposed all cuts to Social Security and would expand the program.
As mayor of Newark, New Jersey, Booker raised taxes by 20 percent but now seeks to cut municipal taxes. He supports taxes on carbon emissions, corporate tax reform, and tax incentives.
Booker has condemned the War on Drugs, calling it a "tremendous failure", and criticizing the Obama administration for not honoring state drug laws. He has also expressed support for medical marijuana research, decriminalizing marijuana, ending mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent drug offenders, increasing funding for prisoner re-entry programs, and bringing an end to for-profit, private prisons.
According to Booker's campaign website, he supports scaling down US armed forces in Afghanistan in a responsible and safe manner.
According to Booker's campaign website, Iran poses a threat to American and Israeli security. He wants all options, including military action, that prevents Iran from gaining nuclear weapons. In December 2013, Booker was one of the original cosponsors of Bob Menéndez's Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act of 2013, which would toughen sanctions against Iran.
Booker's decision to back the Iran nuclear deal framework, damaged his long term relationship with Jewish voters and supporters. Booker initiated an emergency summit for Jewish leaders in attempt to reduce the damage, but some of his long standing supporters did not attend.
According to Booker's campaign website, he is a strong advocate for the state of Israel and supports a two state solution to the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. However he stated certain conditions must remain non-negotiable, such as Israel’s right to exist as a secure Jewish state free from terrorism.
In August 2013, during a Huff Post interview, Booker stated he opposed military intervention in Syria. However, a few days later he said, “As part of the process of working with Congress, I expect that the president will clearly delineate what the strategic objectives are, and what limited military action will specifically achieve in Syria...” and: “Obviously, there needs to be a response, but the question is what is it, and is it going to be perfectly attenuated to the outcomes we want,”. During a September 2013 debate between him and Steve Lonegan, Booker stated he did not have sufficient information to say whether or not he would vote aye or nay on the resolution before the Congress at the time.