Sen. Cory Booker, whose name is already being mentioned as a potential candidate in the 2020 election, insisted Saturday that he is not open yet to a presidential run.
"I don't want the discussion right now because I think that's an attempt to distract people from the work we have to do right now," the New Jersey Democrat, attending the Women's March in Washington, D.C., told CNN. "I'm open to fighting."
Booker's speech against fellow Sen. Jeff Sessions, the Republican senator nominated as President Donald Trump's attorney general, led many observers to believe he was making opening salvos for an upcoming presidential run. On Saturday, though, he said he thought it would weaken the message against the Trump administration to worry about 2020 at this point.
"I've seen intelligence briefings," said Booker. "I've seen and sat in on foreign policy committee hearings. What can happen in the next four years? Too many things can happen that can hurt people in our nation and around the globe if this president isn't checked. So right now, I don't care about 2020 and 2018."
Booker said he was heading into his office on Saturday to work on "legislation, on coalitions, on reaching out to people, to fight this president because in my opinion, the things he has told us he intends to do are dangerous."
Trump's plans aren't just dangerous to Democrats, said Booker, but to "poor people, dangerous to people living on the margins, and bisexual transgender people, and people in small factory and inner cities. I'm gearing up for the fight today and don't care about tomorrow."
Booker said his "heart was heavy" on Inauguration Day, but by Saturday he felt "ignited" again, and said that while people want to deny Trump is president, the reality is, he is.
"The reality is, Donald Trump is president and bad things happen," said Booker. "I think this is a bad thing. But they don't define you. What defines you is how you choose to respond to that... Republican or Democrat, you did not vote to have 30 million Americans lose health insurance. You did not vote to put insurance companies back in charge."
He also said he agreed with Republicans who pointed out that there was a huge march in Washington and other cities around the nation on Saturday, many of those protesting did not show up for the election itself.
"The low voter turnouts is astonishing and this is a reaction to something bad, but that's okay," said Booker. "That's behind us now. Now is not the time to underestimate the power we still have to stop the things that are happening."
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