Booker not offering 2020 endorsement, taking a ‘breather’

Politics
Cory Booker

FILE – In this June 1, 2019 file photo, Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Cory Booker, of New Jersey, waves before speaking during the 2019 California Democratic Party State Organizing Convention in San Francisco. Booker has dropped out of the presidential race after failing to qualify for the December primary debate. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Sen. Cory Booker says he is not making any immediate endorsement for president now that he has dropped out of the race for the Democratic nomination and will focus on his Senate reelection.

Booker told “CBS This Morning” on Tuesday, a day after he ended his 2020 White House bid, that he eventually might endorse someone in the still-crowded White House field before the party’s nominating convention this summer, saying he “definitely will consider it, 100%.”

But for now, Booker said, he is going to “take a breather” following the campaign slog and turn his attentions to President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial and his own Senate campaign, with his seat up for a vote this year.

“I’ve got to get started on securing another six years in the Senate,” he said.

Booker, who arrived in the Senate in 2013, is expected to have an easy path to reelection.

Asked by CBS about feuding between two of his former presidential rivals, Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Booker called them “really good people.”

“I know these folks,” he said. “Nobody should be attacking their character.”

Booker lauded the “goodness and decency” of the field of Democratic candidates and their “camaraderie” when they gathered for debates but said he’d had “no conversations” with any of them about being a possible vice presidential candidate.

“I’m not taking anything off the table,” he said, “but my focus really is New Jersey and my state and being, with my senior Sen. Bob Menendez, the best dynamic duo America has in the Senate.”

Booker said he wasn’t bitter about having to drop out of the 2020 presidential race, claiming he’d had “one of the best years of my entire life, running around this country talking about the highest values of this nation.”

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Catch up on the 2020 election campaign with AP experts on our weekly politics podcast, “Ground Game.”

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