Sen. Cory Booker on why he's running for president

Hours after announcing his 2020 presidential campaign, the New Jersey senator joins "The View" co-hosts.
9:27 | 02/01/19

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Transcript for Sen. Cory Booker on why he's running for president
It is not a matter of can we, it's a matter of do we have the collective will, the American will. I believe we do. Together we will channel our common pain back into our common purpose. Together, America, we will rise. I'm Cory booker and I'm running for president of the united States of America. So, obviously that was senator Cory booker who just announced that he was running for the presidency of the united States. It is raining candidates here on "The view." We are honored that he has decided to make this the very first live TV stop at the "Hot topics" table. So please welcome senator Cory booker. ??? Hello, everybody. Hello. I'm over here. Hello. So, before I ask you the first question, I do have to say that some of us were tripped up when we walked in and saw your brother sitting there. He is the better booker. Is he your twin? We could serve as a stunt double but, no, he is older. Don't get it twisted. And of course, your mom. More importantly, my mother. Which brings me to the question, so why did you decide to run? I think all of us know that so many Americans are losing faith in this country's ability to work for them. People are feeling left out, left behind. I think a lot of folks are beginning to feel that the forces that are tearing us apart in this country are stronger than the forces that tie us together. I don't believe that. So I'm running to restore our sense of common purpose, to focus on the common pain that we have all over this country. We can do better and I'm going to be in it to try to show folks that when we come together, stand together, work together, there'e'e's ING we C C't do. Sounds good. I appreciate that coming from you. So you're very good friends with kamala Harris and Kirsten Gillibrand, right, who have also thrown their hats into the ring. Yes. How is Cory booker different from those two First of all, they're friends, sisters. But in the end of the day we're family. He's got better hair. Look, I've spent my entire career running at problems other people said couldn't be solved. When I left Yale law school I went right into an inner city to take on slum lords and we beat them. I ran for mayor of a tough city at a time that our country was in economic free fall, when people were demeaning our cities and degrading them. Now our city is seeing our best days of economic development, housing, our schools. So my conviction is that we can do impossible things when we come together. Even in Washington right now, there's rampant cynicism, but even in this last congress reaching across the aisle, working with people, we began to demantle mass incarceration. I passed -- Excuse me. Question is how are you different from them? They say similar things. My record when I get a chance to put it before people, they're going to see a very different, not usual path in politics. Where I live, I still live in the central ward of Newark, new Jersey, the only senator that goes home to a community that's still a low income community, inner city community. And they don't? I'm not saying that they don't. I'm just saying that my pathway, the battles I've taken on, the things that other people say people can't do, it's really what my mom challenged me to do as a kid. She said look, you have a debt to pay back and you can't really pay it back. You got to pay it forward. So I'm proud of not only who I am and my conviction but this is a time where too many people I think are trying to pit people against each other, where the democratic party, I don't want it to be defined by what we're against but by what we're for, I don't want it to be defined by beating Republicans but by uniting. I believe in this particular moment that authenticity is the most valuable political currency people have. Gotten criticisms from grandstanding. It's been interpreted that way. How do you Vince people that you're awe ten tick, you're not a phony, especially in this time that this isn't sort of a political stunt if you will? You can't speak to authenticity. No. You have to be who you are and there are going to be critics all the time. My focus -- Sarah Palin was parodied on "Snl" and it turned into a reality so there's a power in that as well. Again, I've lived my life committed to focusing on the issues that matter to people and taking on problems that many people said couldn't be done from inner city education -- Newark is now the number one city in America for beat the odds schools, high poverty, high performance. You go to those school children and ask if that's an authentic change, it is. If you look at Washington right now, we have a horrific system of mass incarceration. One of every three women on the plan Earth are here. I met with Matthew Charles this week, one of the first people released, righteously so. So these are authentic changes. It's about what you do, let my work speak for me. I traveled -- Just to that point, "Snl" parodies a lot of people. Sarah Palin is the only one who really got burnt. I respect and I hear what you're saying. It's a genuine question and by the way, it's criticism from the left as well. I hear what you're saying and it sounds great. I understand what you're saying about your record. When I think of you now, I think of I am spartacus and that's not the best -- I hope you go back and watch one of our hearings. That was one of my prouder moments. When I was threatened to be thrown out of the senate, I said bring it. Another senator stood up and said throw me out as well. I was like, wow, that was like an I am spartacus moment. Who was that? Senator dick Durbin. The problem with our culture, these pip ets, we have people getting more and more ratings by tearing down other people. If you're tired of that bitterness, that trash talking, that trolling, that politics that is a race to the bottom in our country, then don't support me because I'm not in this race to tear people down. I'm in this race to try to build our nation up. In 2016 I traveled much of middle of the country and I talked to voters and not all Republicans, independents, even Democrats, who said I'm voting for trump this time because I've been the forgotten person, he came here, he spoke to me, I like his economic message. You're going to have to win over those voters and a number of them feel like their life isn't worse. They may not like everything the president says but they have food on the table for their family, 300,000 new jobs added last month which smashed records. That's after 8 years just by the way. No, no, that's -- I'm just saying -- I don't disagree. The economy is a much broader conversation but I'm talking about where we are right now though and people are thinking about their daily lives. How do they change their minds? You and I travel the same country and there's a lot of pain out there in America and a lot of fear. No party has a monopoly on that hurt. People are checking out from politics, giving up on politics. That exists from inner cities to suburbs to factory towns. There's a lot of pain and the challenge is for us as Americans with a little bit more courageous empathy recognize that this is a common pain, that we're all in this together. If you put off seeing a doctor because you can't afford it, that's not democratic pain. That's hurting America. If you work in a full-time job in this country and still can't make ends meet, that's an American pain. There's over 1,000 jurisdictions in this country where children have a higher blood led level than Michigan. They can find gasoline more easily than water. That's an American problem. Couldn't trump say two years in I've made your life better? The problem of what's happening is people think we're going to win this by demonizing each other. I'm saying we have a common pain in this country but we've lost our sense of common purpose. And so solve our problems, we have got to come together. Look, my mom was reminding me, this is black history month, just started. She did a sit-in in Virginia and taught me very early on that when we were trying to move into our house and we couldn't move in because of the color of our skin where I grew up, it was blacks, whites, Christians, Jews, Democrats, Republicans to bring our country history. That's what we've got to do in this country is bring people together. I got to -- you know, we're

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

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