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Eye On Politics: Cory Booker Wants ‘New Blood’ In U.S. Senate

Lautenberg's Family Has Endorsed Rep. Frank Pallone
Newark Mayor Cory Booker with Former U.S. Sen. Bill Bradley in Newark, N.J. - June 8, 2013 (credit: Ramin Talaie/Getty Images)

Newark Mayor Cory Booker with Former U.S. Sen. Bill Bradley in Newark, N.J. – June 8, 2013 (credit: Ramin Talaie/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - Newark Mayor Cory Booker, who is running for the seat held by the late Frank Lautenberg, said Wednesday that it is time for “new blood” in the U.S. Senate.

Booker was interviewed by WCBS 880’s Steve Scott in the Eye on Politics segment.

“It’s time that we have voices in Washington that are not about left or right, but really about getting problems solved, bringing people together and really making progress,” Booker said.

LISTEN: THE FULL INTERVIEW

Scott asked if Booker was worried that the Congress is so fractured that no matter how hard any individual tried, nothing can be done.

“Well, you know, that’s a level of despair and cynicism that if I indulged in, I would’ve never been a successful mayor in the city of Newark because I heard the same kind of things about our city when so many people were giving up on us,” Booker said. “People in Newark did not surrender to cynicism. They believed. And together we now see our population increasing.”

“Let’s understand that American history is testimony to the achievement of the impossible,” he said.

The Lautenberg familyendorsed Rep. Frank Pallone.

Booker said he wasn’t surprised by that, given the relationship forged during decades of time working together.

But referring to Booker, Launtenberg’s son Josh told The Hill newspaper that “my father was known as a workhorse, not a show horse” and Booker did take offense at that remark.

He defended his work ethic and cited what he called the biggest economic development boom in Newark since the 1960s, doubling the production of affordable housing for his residents, bringing in “unprecedented investment” in the public schools, developments in urban farming, and being on the streets when residents need it “whether it’s the dark of night doing night patrols or early in the morning greeting residents at schools.”

Booker added that “we shouldn’t be bashing each other, especially not in the Democratic primary.”

Scott closed the interview by asking Booker for a piece of information listeners might not know about him.

“At the end of the day, I’m probably more like other folks than we know. I like good TV, love going to the movies, love to read, and love living in New Jersey,” he said. “I grew up in this state. It’s a state that made me he who I am.”

“What I want voters most to know is not even a list of accomplishments but really what my heart is about. I got into service really not because of anything about me, really ’cause of my dad. He was born poor to a single mother in the deep south in a tough time in our nation during the Depression,” Booker said.

Along with Pallone, Booker will face Rep. Rush Holt and New Jersey Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver in a primary on August 13. A special general election will be held October 16.

Lautenberg’s seat is currently being filled by former New Jersey Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa, who was given the temporary appointment by Gov. Chris Christie.

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