December 7th, 2012
09:33 PM ET
1 year ago

Booker: Presidential run 'not even in the realm of consideration'

(CNN) - Newark, New Jersey, Mayor Cory Booker did not deny his interest in seeking higher political office in an interview on CNN's "Piers Morgan Tonight" Friday, when he also spoke about living for a week on food stamps.

"It's a little more difficult than I imagined," said Booker, a Democrat. "I thought it would be good on eating on a tight budget, so I started out not really marshalling my food well, so I'm really cutting back now."

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Booker said he resolved to spend a week eating only what he could afford on credits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program after an online conversation "with a woman who was pooh-poohing government's role in providing nutrition for kids" went viral.

He described his week, which concludes this weekend, as an effort to raise awareness about "food insecurity," obesity and other food-related issues.

Among the most challenging aspects, he said, was giving up caffeine.

"Going out and getting a cup of coffee at Starbucks will wipe out your entire allowance for a day, and for a guy who was admittedly caffeine-addicted, I am now going through a bit of a withdrawal," he told CNN's Piers Morgan.

"This is one thing, the challenges for me right now, complaining about the headache and caffeine withdrawal - I'm off this in a week," he added. But, he continued, there are working families who rely on SNAP and similar programs.

Booker made no announcements about his own political future, which is expected to involve a bid for another office.

"My focus right now is trying to figure out what that next step will be that's in accordance with my values. Life is about purpose, not position, and my value is I want to find whatever I can do to best make a contribution to the people in the city I love and that state I love," he said when asked if he is interested in running for the U.S. Senate, possibly in 2014 when Democratic Sen. Frank Lautenberg's fifth term is up.

A more immediate opportunity would be challenging New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican who has seen strong poll numbers due to his handling of the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy.

"I'm not even going to give you the denial," he said about challenging Christie. "I'm simply saying that this is one of the most important races in the country."

He said Christie's kind words for President Barack Obama after the storm are an example of "the way government should work."

"Governor Christie and President Obama showed the right spirit during one of the worst natural disasters to hit in my lifetime in my state," he said.

And will there be a Booker for President campaign anytime soon?

"President of the New Jersey Star Trek Association?" Booker replied. As for the Oval Office, "that is not even in the realm of consideration right now."

Watch Piers Morgan Live weeknights 9 p.m. ET. For the latest from Piers Morgan click here.


Filed under: Chris Christie • Cory Booker • New Jersey • TV-Piers Morgan
soundoff (41 Responses)
  1. emDFW

    Congratulations on your week, Mr. Booker. I'm sure by this point you realize that to really understand the plight of America's SNAP recipients, you should probably go 6 months. Good luck!

    December 7, 2012 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  2. Brian

    Iif food stamp users can afford starbucks, they they are living a wealthier life then I. Food stamp should keep people barely alive so they HAVE A REASON TO WORK. If they live better on food stamp than what they can earn working full time, then who in their right mind would work again. Government providing safety net is fair. However, Obama's goal is not to provide aid, but to create DEPENDENCY so his party stays relevant.... all on our dimes, which is sickening.

    December 7, 2012 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  3. SafeJourney

    How about VP Major Booker. If Hillary decides to run for POTUS, you would be a great VP.

    December 7, 2012 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  4. Arias

    Sounds like a good man and rising star. I hope to see more of him in the future.

    December 7, 2012 11:25 pm at 11:25 pm |
  5. Joe

    I would assume Booker is educated yet he is living entirely off food stamps when food stamps are meant to supplement food expenses. The intent of food stamps isn't so your food and drink expenses are totally covered.

    December 7, 2012 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm |
  6. Joan

    I like this guy!!!

    December 8, 2012 12:05 am at 12:05 am |
  7. lerianis

    Food stamps are not something that I personally would want to rely on for my food needs. It would be BARELY enough to feed this guy one week, let alone a whole family for a month.

    December 8, 2012 12:14 am at 12:14 am |
  8. LizardLance

    Thank goodness for political types such as Cory Booker. We need more like him and fewer Mitt Romneys who "don't care about the poor people" and far fewer Rush Limbaughs and Sean Hannitys who demean and joke about the misfortunes of people. Sure, there are some who scam social programs. But by and large, as I have witnessed first hand, a huge majority receiving assistance rely on it through no fault of their own.

    December 8, 2012 02:01 am at 2:01 am |
  9. shaunthesheep

    Sorry guy, but you should have gotten some coaching before attempting this life threatening stunt. First of all: apples? come on, who can afford apples with food stamps? Listen dude, it goes this way: look for canned goods under 80 cents, then you hit the frozen dinner section...10 for 10 dollars kind of a deal. Totinos pizza...great deal at a dollar and quarter. You go for the deals, then you go to the deli section and you put in your pockets as much sugar, ketchup, mustard, salt and pepper,mayo packets as you can manage. Coffee? well you can buy coffee with food stamps,! don't beat yourself with the cross my man...1.25 for 8 little packets of nescafe and you are ready to parteee.

    December 8, 2012 02:45 am at 2:45 am |
  10. Shea

    Where does Mayor Booker think he would get the cash to buy ANYTHING at Starbucks with food stamps??? Why not try this "experiment" for a month using only the SNAP card and nothing else? Then he might see how limiting it is trying to eat a balanced meal for an entire month. You can buy ground coffee (or beans) in the grocery store for your caffeine "fix," by the way. You cannot buy hot foods or toiletries, cigarettes, alcohol with your monthly allotment. You can eat "healthy" on food stamps but those items are generally more expensive than the crap in the middle aisles, so you must learn to manage your month's allotment carefully. But I still say this politician would run out of his allotment long before the month was was up, and he'd be visiting the local food bank to supplement the rest of the month. I hate stunts like this – and it is a stunt. Live on the card for a month – oh, wait – try a year. Hey, make Congress do it – all of them. And take away their health care during the year, too. I dare them.

    December 8, 2012 04:18 am at 4:18 am |
  11. Karen

    In response to Cory Booker living on Food Stamps, if living on Food Stamps is like a starvation diet, how does he explain obesity in America? Also, it is a supplimental program, you are not living soley off that amount of money.It is in addition to what you earn, did he take that into consideration?

    December 8, 2012 05:48 am at 5:48 am |
  12. gager

    Government food stamps need to stop.

    December 8, 2012 06:23 am at 6:23 am |
  13. Gurgyl

    Same guy who made contra comments??? Ignorant.

    December 8, 2012 06:29 am at 6:29 am |
  14. JohnParryJones

    This is more of a PR stunt. He is a vegetarian. Much easier to save when you're not buying meat.

    December 8, 2012 06:41 am at 6:41 am |
  15. Natch

    Well, Starbucks DOES supply caffeine......even if it's not really coffee! ;)

    December 8, 2012 06:48 am at 6:48 am |
  16. Guest

    So..he had to give up Starbucks, how sad. It's still not the job of the government to provide this sort of assistance.

    December 8, 2012 07:02 am at 7:02 am |
  17. onlyfacts

    Booker is too good of a man to be President. Just like Obama, there is too much "garbage" inter twined with the job to really do the good that is in their hearts. Booker could better serve doing what he's doing now.

    December 8, 2012 07:07 am at 7:07 am |
  18. Shawn Taylor

    Are you serious??? I don't care about his caffeine withdrawal or the fact that his allowance on food assistance will not make a trip to Starbucks possible! Talk about out of touch! I wanted real facts about his experience this week-nutrition, emotional and physical reaction, so on and so forth. Wow!

    December 8, 2012 07:28 am at 7:28 am |
  19. Leif

    Booker for President.

    December 8, 2012 07:39 am at 7:39 am |
  20. Anonymous

    I want to know if he was able to afford fresh fruits, veggies and lean meat on the food stamps.

    December 8, 2012 07:45 am at 7:45 am |
  21. bibleverse1

    It may be a stunt but he can still learn and teach.

    December 8, 2012 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  22. Rick McDaniel

    Neither party has a good candidate.

    The truth is......anyone who would genuinely be good at the job, wouldn't want it.

    I suspect Obama will not be leaving office in 2016, anyway. It is a moot point, as the dictator takes ever more control.

    December 8, 2012 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  23. Sashatree

    Cory Booker - what a public servant SHOULD BE! You've got my vote – no matter WHAT office you're running for sir!

    December 8, 2012 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  24. Lester Holmes

    We have this machine on the counter that you put ground coffee in and it brews it in your own home.

    December 8, 2012 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  25. Greg

    I'm waiting for all the criticizers. I know they're coming! ANYTHING but to EVER care for anyone else in need. THAT is the TRUE characteristic of Americans today!

    December 8, 2012 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
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