Booker, Paul take a selfie; talk criminal justice reform, technology and show tunes
July 9th, 2014
06:48 PM ET
2 months ago

Booker, Paul take a selfie; talk criminal justice reform, technology and show tunes

(CNN) - An unlikely political duo, Sens. Rand Paul and Cory Booker have teamed up in a bid to reform the criminal justice system for non-violent offenders.

Paul, a Republican from Kentucky, and Booker, a Democrat from New Jersey, discussed a wide range of topics Wednesday at a Politico “Playbook Cocktails” event in Washington.

The focus was their proposal to overhaul the criminal justice system for nonviolent offenders.

But conversation veered to selfies, workout playlists, immigration and changes to the Republican Party.

Booker, the former mayor of Newark, said he and Paul's proposal makes economic sense.

"By reducing recidivism by 10% we could save millions for the American people," he said, also adding that the United States has more African-Americans under criminal supervision than the nation had slaves in 1850.

Paul has long been an advocate for reforming the criminal justice system, arguing that he and Booker's proposed legislation would break a vicious cycle of incarceration.

"I think once you've served your time, you should get your rights back," Paul said Thursday morning on CNN "New Day."

"I think the same for voting, and I've actually worked with the Majority Leader, Senator Harry Reid is a cosponsor of a bill with me to restore voting rights to people who have served their time," he told CNN anchor John Berman.

Attorney General Eric Holder has also pushed to remedy sentencing disparities for non-violent drug offenses.

Some lighter notes: Booker said he enjoys listening to a variety of music when running, including show tunes.

The duo said their friendship began over a love of Festivus, a quirky holiday-esqe tradition popularized in an episode of “Seinfeld” that is “celebrated” on December 23 and calls for, among other things, the airing of grievances.

Paul took part in the holiday last year. One of his complaints was that Booker, an avid social media user, did not tweet at him enough.

Paul also discussed his evolution with the popular iPhone application Snapchat. And Booker gushed about his love for "disruptive technology," like Uber, a car service application.

Both senators are high-profile national figures. Paul is seriously weighing a bid for the White House in 2016.

Asked about his frequent visits to early primary and caucus states, Paul said he's trying to broaden the Republican Party.

"I am interested in winning," he said. "Our party winning, our party getting bigger."


Filed under: Cory Booker • Immigration • Justice Department • Rand Paul
soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. Thomas

    20 years for weed in Louisiana ?

    Why do DA's love sentencing non violent criminals to such hard time ?

    Paper Punching there way top the top .

    July 9, 2014 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  2. Smitty

    Guys please for the sake of the country continue to work together, a good start.

    July 9, 2014 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  3. Gurgyl

    -entire the legal system is money sucking system and outdated. Entire legal system needs revamped. I mean from A to Z. Yes, we need inheritance laws too.

    July 9, 2014 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  4. The Real Tom Paine

    Be careful, Senator Paul: doing something might offend your do-nothing base.

    July 9, 2014 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  5. S. B. Stein

    It would be nice if there was more of this in both houses of Congress. I am sure that there are things that all or most can agree on and get done the business of the American people.

    July 9, 2014 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  6. Chris..E.al

    N0 self esteem building from the dems after so long and a black prez Dems want to keep us down and take you to the bottom of that deep pit again like the 50 and 60 s and get votes from the poor and do nothing for you and give our sweat and blood 2 an cash to the illegals n0w for a vote or two ? im right . These blue d0g dems are a wolf and you are the sheep @wake up .

    July 9, 2014 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  7. Liz the First

    Senators and congressmen used to mingle and form bonds of friendship across the aisle in the good old days when laws actually got passed. now everyone goes home and never mingles with the 'enemy.' this was a good start. it's way past time to put away the hate and start working together for the good of the country, instead of throwing it under a bus because you hate the president and the opposing party. grow up and do your jobs!

    July 9, 2014 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  8. Rudy NYC

    What a happy pair.

    July 10, 2014 08:53 am at 8:53 am |