By MEG CUNNINGHAM, ABC News
(NEW YORK) — Joe Biden can “rise in America and be a healer” for the country if elected to the White House, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker said on ABC’s Good Morning America Thursday.
“I know that one thing I found particularly impressive about him on the campaign trail is how much he really does lead with a love of folks. You can’t lead the people if you don’t love the people,” Booker told ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos.
“I think he can rise in America and be a healer, and remind our country that the lines that divide us are not as strong as the ties that bind us. I really believe we’re at a point in America where we need to– all of us– to try to generate a revival of civic grace and he has the decency to do that,” he added.
Often seen as one of the more optimistic and hopeful of the former 2020 contenders — Booker is set to address the nation on the fourth and final night of the Democratic National Convention, under the theme “America’s Promise.”
He’ll be joined in speaking by former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttieig and fellow Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., among others.
Booker said his speech will highlight the “heart and spirit of our country.”
“I think I want to talk to that heart and spirit of our country, and remind us that patriotism is love of country. And you can’t love your country unless you love your fellow countrymen and women,” he said. “That doesn’t mean we always have to agree or even like each other, but we have to understand we’re all in this together and love is not sentimentality but the greatest call to put indivisible back into our nation under God.”
Booker, a former 2020 hopeful, fell in line with the narrative coming out of the DNC this week: the importance and sanctity of the vote in November, in what is seen by many as the most consequential election of a lifetime.
“I think that’s the challenge in our country. It’s always been. It’s what our ancestors talked about. Apathy is one of the greatest enemies of a democracy, so I’m hoping that last night energized people, ignited people, let people know what’s at stake, and most importantly that they have the power to make a difference in this nation,” Booker told Stephanopoulos.
Wednesday night’s DNC speakers often took aim at President Donald Trump, who has seen his approval ratings and poll numbers against Biden plummet in recent months, largely due to his handling of the coronavirus pandemic and racial inequities stirring across the country.
Those topics, though, have been overshadowed in recent days to the president’s new attacks on the United States Postal Service and election integrity in a renewal of his unseated claims against the safety of voting by mail.
Former President Barack Obama used unusually strong language attacking another president Wednesday night, calling a threat to democracy.
“President Trump is saying the only way he’ll lose is if the election is rigged. Are you convinced this will be a fair election and what must be done for Americans to see it as fair?” Stephanopoulos asked Booker.
“This is a time where we’ve seen so many norms trashed by this president, so many institutions attacked, from our freedom of speech and journalists like you, all the way to our own intelligence officers. And so there is a credible belief out there by many folks in our government — and elsewhere — that we are at a point where our democracy is being stress-tested like it never has before,” Booker said.
“I hope Americans are not deterred and press on in what is the most important election of our lifetime,” he added. “It will define how this country moves forward, not only in the spirit of America, our ability to manifest kindness and love for one another, but also issues that are affecting the entire planet like climate change. This is such an important election. We cannot allow any excuses to stop us from participating.”
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