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Cory Booker stops at Elijah's Promise during New Brunswick visit

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United States Senator Cory Booker (D-N.J.) visited Elijah's Promise Soup Kitchen in New Brunswick during his tour of all 21 New Jersey counties. Before he left, Booker sat down for an interview with The Daily Targum. 

The Daily Targum: Republican nominee Donald Trump earlier today said “Second Amendment proponents should do something about Secretary Clinton." Two weeks ago, he tweeted about your Democratic National Convention speech, and you responded with "I love you." Can you talk about how you’re seeing these comments?

Senator Booker: I think that we see every few days, every week he’s saying vile things. He’s casting negativity and darkness, and so you hear that and it disturbs you. You’ve gotta match that darkness with your light. You’ve got to match that hate with your love, and the greatest loving act you can do in a democracy is to engage, it’s to participate, it’s to be part of making this democracy better. Fundamentally, this is hope.

The Daily Targum: State funding for public institutions has remained flat over the last year into this year. I know Secretary Clinton has proposed sending students to college for free below $125,000.

Senator Booker: You should definitely go on her website and go on her plans to see that a lot better, but please understand, we could pay for a significant portion of that by just getting rid of carried interest, it would bring in that kind of revenue. So when you hear her talking about fair tax rates, and a society besting in those things, those are trade-offs, so millionaires and billionaires might lose some loopholes, and that resources now, that tax money might go towards making education, and by the way, that’s going to create a better economy for millionaires and billionaires and all Americans because the more our population learns, the more our overall economy earns.

The Daily Targum: Especially this year, a lot of people and millennials who are dissatisfied with the candidates are expressing a desire not to vote. What are your thoughts on this and how do you plan to encourage people to go to the polls in November?

Senator Cory Booker: There’s too much at stake, I mean the biggest thing is the Supreme Court, whoever’s the next president is going to decide whether a woman has the right to make her own medical decisions, through abortion laws, access to Planned Parenthood. The next Supreme Court’s going to decide issues of education, it’s going to decide issues of healthcare, it’s going to decide voting rights. In fact, if you think there’s too much money in politics, you want to see Citizens United overturned, well, depending on who becomes the next Supreme Court Justice will decide if that happens or not. Forget the presidency for even a second, the next 25 to 50 years of the Supreme Court will be decided by the next president, and that is incredibly important. Then you have the presidency and all the decisions that they make and all the priorities they have, so I don’t understand how you can sit on the sidelines in this election. This is one of those historical elections where everything is aligning. This election will determine who has the presidency, where the Senate comes out, and the Supreme Court.

The Daily Targum: Do you have a plan or message on how to encourage people to vote?

Senator Booker: So I know that everyone’s working on this, State Democratic Party leadership, to the National Leadership, and as for me I’m running around the state but I’m a surrogate for Secretary Clinton, I’m going to be engaging all different types of diverse groups all around the country. So I’m going to be doing everything I can, I know the party’s going to do everything they can.

Nikhilesh De is a School of Engineering junior. He is the news editor of The Daily Targum. Follow him on Twitter @nikhileshde for more.

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