Cory Booker talks health care, combating hate, gun control with voters

The Democratic presidential candidate sat down with three undecided voters from the Northeast for "Around the Table," an ABC News series that brings candidates and voters together for a conversation.
6:27 | 11/28/19

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Transcript for Cory Booker talks health care, combating hate, gun control with voters
Reporter: We're at Cory booker's favorite restaurant, blocks away from his New Jersey home. I actually live right down the street. Hello, everybody. Reporter: We've gathered three undecided voters from across the northeast. Please call me Cory, all right? And is Lindsey behaving herself? My name is Trina Jones. I'm from Philadelphia. I am a student nurse. Mother of four. My name is dj. I have a dairy farm in upstate New York. Reporter: And they're here for a lively. Can I call you out on a specific -- Reporter: At times contentious conversation. That is absolutely not true. How are we going to implement that. Reporter: Welcome to an around the table. Housing security is something I've never experienced. I've only been in a position of figuring out how I'm going to pay my rent. This is literally how I began my career, I began as a tenants rights advocate. Do you think it's a right that we all have -- I have the right to vote for example. Is it a right that I'm entitled to safe housing in the united States of America? Safe, decent, affordable housing is something that everyone should have a right to. Can we do it? Yes, we can. We can. So I've been doing a cram session on your -- I'm grateful. Your plan. Thank you. And I have to say that it's very, very hopeful. It is about housing as much as it is about rural issues. This is something we should know. There's a president trying to divide us against each other. The more divided we are the more we don't see common cause with each other. Phyllis, I have a question for you. In your community, a lot of people have conservative views, and you say you kind of understand. Where do you think Democrats are missing the mark and trump has their ear? That's a tough question. Assurances about maintaining their rights. People really are afraid of losing their rights. Let's talk about gun control. Are you going to take away their guns? No. I've owned a gun. What I want to know about, we have all these mass shootings. We have, you know, we're not going to take away your guns, but we're going to have to control it and worry about people with mental issues. What I worry about is the backlash of that in the back of my mind if I go to therapy, using me as an example. If I go to therapy every week or I don't necessarily have a disorder, but I want to be a well person. Because I'm the mother of four. Is it going to flag me? What's going to happen across the board to everyone, to people who are legal owners? Have you looked at the other side? How many people who should be able to buy a gun wouldn't be able to buy a gun? We're not stopping people who are law-abiding citizens from getting guns. I think would be an important message to reassure people that they're not going to be blocked. As a guy going all over the country, you want to know the reassurance, people stand up and say they're afraid to send their kids to school. Kids are asking with fear in their ice. You need a license to drive a vehicle. I think it would put it more indisvisible. That's big frustration I have, when we talk about common sense, the problems we have predate Donald Trump, predate Barack Obama. The system we have in place here, I don't think it's broken. I think it's functioning the exact way it was design. There's never been a period in American history. The guardians of our democracy have always had racism, bigotry written into the rules. So I'm not trying to go back, but I do know when we make advancements in this country, we do it together. I want to talk about inclusiveness and the dream. Right now, it's a lot of hatred. Yes. It's a lot of hatred, a lot of misunderstanding. There is no empathy. What is the plan to combat that, how are we going to implement that? I would say also to that idea of empathy, what I keep seeing from all the candidates is how I should empathize with the white working class male in Ohio. You got to feel bad for in guy who lost his job, that's why he voted for trump. I'm tired of hearing that. If I want to empathize with someone having a bad day, all I have to do is walk out my door. We live in the same community. The reason I'm running, the main reason to get up every day, I'm tired of politicians like the one in the highest office of the land is trying to exploit our differences. Reporter: The conversation moves to health care. We have a system that's fundamentally unjust. That's why I support medicare for all system and drive down the costs of everything from prescription drugs to everything bureaucracy is driving up for the average person. Didn't you vote against the ability for people to buy drugs from Canada? That's absolutely not true. I wrote the legislation importation with senator Sanders and senator Casey. Reporter: In 2017 booker voted against the amendment that called for drugs imported from abroad. Your point is for medicare for all but not eliminating the private option. My point is we need to get to a point of medicare for all. That's the best system. But I also am very realistic to know that's not something we are going to be able to shift to. Reporter: The nearly two-hour conversation starts to wrap up. But not without some of the senator's signature humor. You have to come and visit. I would love that. I have some great dad jokes for everybody. Amazing. Yes, I'm sure your cows are utterly amazing. Ba-bump-bump. We hope your Thanksgiving

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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