Trump goes after Booker for blasting president while questioning Amy Coney Barrett

Posted Oct 14, 2020

After U.S. Sen. Cory Booker on Tuesday used much of the time he spent questioning Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett to slam Donald Trump, the president struck back.

Trump directed a series of insults at Booker on Twitter and at his Tuesday campaign rally in Johnstown, Pennsylvania following the New Jersey senator’s attacks during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.

The president accused Booker of lying about his record on health care, resurrected the discredited narrative that the senator did not live in Newark while mayor, disparaged his unsuccessful campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination, and called him a “total loser” and “empty suit.”

Booker and other supporters of the health care law worry that Barrett will provide the fifth vote to overturn the Affordable Care Act and the Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion, as Trump has promised to do.

Trump has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down the entire Affordable Care Act, including its protections for pre-existing conditions.

The president also championed Republican efforts to replace the health care law with legislation that the Congressional Budget Office said would leave 23 million more Americans without insurance and put coverage for pre-existing conditions in jeopardy.

Booker cited the Affordable Care Act and other issues as he faced Barrett.

“It’s not normal that the president would further cast a shadow over your nomination and the independence of the court by saying he would only nominate justices who would tear down Roe v. Wade, who would overturn ACA,” Booker told Barrett.

“And it is not normal that we have a president who cannot commit himself to the peaceful transfer of power.”

Booker, New Jersey’s first Black U.S. senator, then began his questioning of Barrett.

“You condemn white supremacy, correct?” he asked.

“Yes,” she replied.

“Thank you,” Booker said. “I’m glad to see that you said that. I wish our president would say that as so resolutely and unequivocally as well. but we are at time that Americans are literally fearful because their president cannot do that in the resolute matter you did.”

Trump was criticized by Booker and others of both parties during the first presidential debate for the president’s response when asked to condemn white supremacy, when he said he was “prepared to do that” but then told mentioned the “Proud Boys,” a right-wing organization labeled as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, to “stand back and stand by."

Gov. Phil Murphy also recently went after Trump after members of right-wing militias were arrested for allegedly trying to kidnap fellow Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan. Murphy said Trump has allowed such groups “to act as if they hold a permission slip from him.”

White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said earlier this month that Trump has "continually condemned white supremacists and all forms of hate,” and a campaign spokeswoman, Samantha Zager, said he has “firmly and consistently condemned white supremacy, fringe groups, and racism in any form.”

This was the most of recent in a series of attacks Trump has leveled for years against Booker.

Trump made Booker a regular foil in his stump speeches during the 2018 midterm elections, when voters gave Democrats a House majority.

That was after Booker, during the 2018 Judiciary Committee hearings on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, released documents before they were approved by the Republican lawyer deciding what information the public could see. He called it his “Spartacus moment.”

This year, Trump repeatedly has claimed without evidence that Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden would put Booker in charge of a housing plan that would bring increased crime to the suburbs.

“This loser, Cory Booker, is the guy who’s going to be in charge of the program," Trump proclaimed Tuesday in Johnstown. “The guy’s a stone-cold loser.”

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published this page in News and Politics 2020-10-15 02:45:04 -0700