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Booker: Dem Platform Offers 'Clear Choice' Between 'Inclusion or Exclusion'

In short speech, Newark mayor hits on themes of fairness, restoring prosperity

Newark Mayor Cory Booker gave a brief speech at the Democratic National Convention Tuesday, touching on topics that included economic inequality, education and breaks for small business. His words brought the audience to its feet. 

“This is our American mission. These are the dreams of our fathers and our mothers,” Booker told the crowd gathered in Charlotte, N.C., for day one of the convention.

The convention ends Thursday when President Obama formally accepts the nomination. 

Unlike Gov. Chris Christie, who gave a primetime address during last week’s Republican National Convention, Booker’s speech lasted a little more than 10 minutes and aired at 6 p.m., before the major television networks began their broadcasts. 

Booker, who served as co-chair of the committee that wrote the Democratic Party platform for 2012, introduced the platform during his speech, aiming his rhetoric squarely at voters with average incomes.

“This platform is a clear choice between economic pathways, forward or back, inclusion or exclusion, grow together as a nation or be a country of savage disparities and favor the fortunate few over the greatest driving force in the economy: a large and robust middle class,” Booker said.

Booker also said Democrats favor balanced budgets, but were dismissive of the Republican idea that tax cuts for the wealthy would stimulate economic growth.

“Our platform calls for significant cuts in federal spending, calls for a balanced deficit reduction plan where everyone from elected officials to the wealthy to the super-wealthy pay their fair share,” Booker said.

In what seemed to be an almost deliberate rebuke of Republican nominee Mitt Romney — who was sharply criticized for failing to mention America’s ongoing war in Afghanistan during his acceptance speech last week — Booker spotlighted the 11-year-old conflict.

With U.S. soldiers risking everything overseas, “being asked to pay your fair share isn’t class warfare. It’s patriotism,” a line that drew some of the heaviest applause during Booker’s speech as well as choruses of “USA!”

Booker also said the platform favors assistance for small business, which he said has received 18 tax cuts under Obama, investment in infrastructure and a pledge that U.S. citizens who “play by the rules” regardless of “who they choose to love” or what religion they follow have the right to employment that pays enough for decent housing, retirement and medical care.

Booker’s speech was largely well-received in the Twitter-verse, where the social-media-savvy mayor has 1.2 million followers.

“You completely knocked it out of the park!” one fan said, while Newark Councilman Ron Rice, a sometime opponent of Booker’s, enthused that the crowd spontaneously took to its feet Tuesday, unlike during Christie’s address, when Christie had to “exhort” people to rise.

“Guess ideas matter,” Rice’s tweet also read.

Lia Eustachewich contributed to this report.

John Jay September 21, 2012 at 05:01 PM
Only YOU can elect an OBAMA-FREE AMERICA!
Spooner September 21, 2012 at 05:11 PM
Romney will be WORST!
NJarhead September 21, 2012 at 05:25 PM
Spooner, thats not even possible, you big Silly.
Don Gottwerth September 21, 2012 at 05:49 PM
I am Newark-born. Newark, a city built by Italian, Polish & German skills and a history of Jewish good will, with hospitals and community centers and where Shop-rite was created and started. But in Juky of 1967, I witnessed as a Public Service bus driver of the #25 Springfield, the descendants of ex-slaves take apart this once great city in a single night. And on MLK's burial day, they did a curtain call on what they didn't finish. And in C0ry B's extolling the rights of women, he supports their right to kill black babies, and wealthy women (Jewish mothers) to kill their babies. And what about Cory? What do we know about him? Is he married, or gay? He's a stranger to Newark; an import and a moral mystery, being he supports gay marriage, and not stands with black ministers who oppose that position.
NJarhead September 21, 2012 at 06:21 PM
Joshua, that's just it. We're not always dealing with rational Americans.
Joe R September 21, 2012 at 06:50 PM
Wow, racism and homophobia all in one package. Way to go dude (sarcasm alert). Newark was also built by blacks, how nice of you not to mention them. During the Civil War, Irish immigrants went on a murderous rampage in NYC, should we condemn all Irish-Americans for what happened 150 years ago. Many bigoted people want to condemn all Italian-Americans for the sins of a small minority of criiminals called the Mafia. You seem to want to condemn all Newark blacks for what happened in July of 1967.
Spooner September 21, 2012 at 06:57 PM
NJarhead- Romney is incompetent to be President and a weak candidate. . .For one: he's a control freak. . .doesn't listen to his advisors. . .and now former Presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty has bailed out from his campaign. Romney bought the Republican nomination...first trouncing Gingrich, then Santorum. The only thing that could save him "right now" is if the economy gets worst, but that assumes that he doesn't screw up anymore...especially during the debates?
NJarhead September 21, 2012 at 07:19 PM
He hasn't "screwed up" as much as the liberal media would lead you to believe. Since you support Obama, I'm not sure what your definition of incompetence is.
Joe Are September 21, 2012 at 08:00 PM
Booker is a typical Obama Democrat...talks a big game but accomplishes nothing. He and Newark are an embarrassment!
John Jay September 21, 2012 at 08:18 PM
The idea that MORE government is better government is insane. I am disgusted at the way the Washington Republicans caved in and created monster-sized agencies when they ran both houses. It's time to replace ALL of the big government politicians with those who want to return sanity and SMALLER government to the people. Sadly, the biggest advocate of big government are the Democrats -- and for that reason, they must get tossed out. If the upcoming wave of Republicans don't do the job, then throw them out too. Sooner or later, the so-called party bosses are going to go by the wayside too!
Spooner September 21, 2012 at 09:17 PM
NJarhead- I don't support Obama! But Please don't insult me with that line. I call it based on facts. . .Governor Pawplenty left. Romney is is own worst enemy? One day he's supporting Ryan's Medicare plan. . .the next day he makes statements contradicting him. . . Romney thinks he could play to his audience like what he said on"Meet the Press". . .and nobody is going to catch the double talk?
Patrick September 21, 2012 at 09:50 PM
Isn't government the smallest it has been in decades???? http://www.forbes.com/sites/rickungar/2012/05/24/who-is-the-smallest-government-spender-since-eisenhower-would-you-believe-its-barack-obama/ and of course there is this. http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/09/09/government-employment/
John Jay September 21, 2012 at 11:12 PM
Patrick continues to shill for big government -- why? I have no idea. Spending has slowed? GREAT -- but the SCOPE and the SIZE of government is way too big. Some things we DO NOT NEED: * USIA: Why spend money on propaganda? * Education: This monster was created in Jimmy Carter's administration. The fed has no business in my public school. * USAID: Get government out of the business of doing business. Let Congress work out the treaties and let business do without the rest of waste. * United Nations: Useless organization. Kick them out, give the land back to the Rockefeller family -- the very family that gave * Homeland Security: A bunch of useless people duplicating and triplicating law enforcement agencies. * TSA: More useless workers. The workers feeling you up at the airports aren't even sworn federal agents. They are HOURLY EMPLOYEES with NO law enforcement authority at all. * Remove ALL firearms-carrying agents from every agency except BATFE, FBI, DEA, Secret Service and U.S. Marshalls. If you need armed backup, then you better call the right agent for the job. There are ARMED agents for the National Weather Service and Social Security...ARE YOU SERIOUS??? Etc., etc. etc....
John Jay September 21, 2012 at 11:27 PM
Patrick continues to shill for big government -- why? I have no idea. Spending has slowed? GREAT -- but the SCOPE and the SIZE of government is way too big. Some things we DO NOT NEED: * USIA: Why spend money on propaganda? * Education: This monster was created in Jimmy Carter's administration. The fed has no business in my public school. * USAID: Get government out of the business of doing business. Let Congress work out the treaties and let business do without the rest of waste. * United Nations: Useless organization. Kick them out, give the land back to the Rockefeller family -- the very family that gave * Homeland Security: A bunch of useless people duplicating and triplicating law enforcement agencies. * TSA: More useless workers. The workers feeling you up at the airports aren't even sworn federal agents. They are HOURLY EMPLOYEES with NO law enforcement authority at all. * Remove ALL firearms-carrying agents from every agency except BATFE, FBI, DEA, Secret Service and U.S. Marshalls. If you need armed backup, then you better call the right agent for the job. There are ARMED agents for the National Weather Service and Social Security...ARE YOU SERIOUS??? Etc., etc. etc....
Patrick September 21, 2012 at 11:39 PM
I'm not shilling anything, you brought up the fact that it was Dems that you hold responsible for the mess, yet the facts just show the opposite. and the list... you can't say that Republican leadership is for eliminating any of those departments. If anything R's created many of them and want to further bloat them.
Tony Orsini September 22, 2012 at 06:00 PM
Glad to see the bigots and racists stewing and floating to the top of the pot. Anybody been to ironbound in Newark or by UMDNJ? Thought not. Your candidate is a clown called FlipFlop. Reagan tripled the national debt, Bush II doubled it (they cut taxes for the wealthy WITHOUT cutting spending). I never heard clown supporters talking about the national debt then.
Slippery Slope September 22, 2012 at 06:05 PM
How are those newark public schools doing? Whats the average i.Q. of the student population in Newark........Newark is a crap hole.
John V September 22, 2012 at 07:11 PM
Typical, Predictable response from an Obama supporter when they can't logically defend their position.
John V September 22, 2012 at 07:15 PM
Try and have an independent thought. Are you better off than you were four years ago? Is America better off? does your children's future look better? And for the love of God, don't tell me it is Bush's fault. Take responsibility for your actions. Oh wait, Dems are not responsible for anything. All our problems are someone else fault.
Gary Junstrom September 22, 2012 at 07:19 PM
Give me a break. Next to Obama, Booker is the most overrated failure in office today. Newark is ruled by gangs, they are completely dependant on transitional aid from the suburbs, Booker lost the Nets and picked a fight (and lost) with the biggest taxpayer in the city, the Devils. He is a well-spoken, incompetent disaster. In other words, a typical liberal Democrat.
Rossington69 September 22, 2012 at 08:57 PM
Right you are GJ. Cory Booker is a joke like his city. And Tony Orsini - you are showing everyone why you can't win an election in Holmdel. This is the far left's answer to everything - if you can't refute a statement or win an argument with facts, cry racism. In your world, no one should criticize a black officeholder, no matter how bad they are. That's all you have and that's why Obama will be a one termer. Actually, that's one more than you, correct?
Patrick September 22, 2012 at 09:00 PM
What does IQ have to do with anything... I think you mean test scores. In NJ, test scores are an interesting study of just how education is broken. Students from lower income households typically do poor in standardized tests. So you put a child in a school funded properly they prosper... and that has noting to do with IQ.
Patrick September 22, 2012 at 09:04 PM
More like Brooklyn won the Nets... they built the Russian a huge stadium on top of a transit hub, in a booming part of NYC. And Booker was right in regard to the Devils. Its called sticking up for your city. and they are HARDLY the biggest tax payer in the city. if anything the Devils are a sponge. and Newark is no longer the depressed car jack capital of the world. Businesses are locating there left and right... Panasonic is one off the top of my head. Newark could have easily become Camden or Trenton... It didn't because of people like Booker.
Gary Junstrom September 22, 2012 at 10:16 PM
Patrick, you've had lots of practice apologizing for Obama, so it's an easy transition to Booker. The Nets wanted out of Newark because they weren't drawing and the city is more like Camden and Paterson than anywhere in NJ, so no decent fans want to bring their families into Dodge City. And the Devils went to court and the judge agreed with them and NOT Booker. The only safe place in the city is around Gateway between 9 and 5. Any other part of the city or after 5 p.m. and you take your life in your hands. Drive-bys are as common as barking dogs in suburbia, the number of welfare leeches is growing and the amount of money NJ dumps into Newark to keep Booker and his posse afloat is a disgrace. Aside from that, Booker is doing a bang up job. Sorry to burst your liberal fantasy bubble.
Patrick September 22, 2012 at 11:29 PM
Why is it you would stand up for an owner overBooker who was fighting the corrupt kick backs former mayor Sharpe James' cronies gave the Devils over parking. This after the Devils withheld rent to the city. As for the Nets, you really don't know what your talking about... Mikhail Prokhorov, a Russian Oligarch bought the team with the intention of moving it to Brooklyn. He sees the Nets as a natural way to sell the NBA and Nets to the vast Russian market overseas, and with the gold coast of Russian immigrants in Brooklyn a great springboard to that end. Booker could have let them stay rent free and they would have left anyway... Prokhorov fronted the money himself to build the Barclay's Center. You can be critical all you like of the city, but the fact is the city is making a huge come back. It is being gentrified, and will soon be an urban bed room community for NYC. It really is just a matter of time as rents become unaffordable for anyone making under 100k in NYC. and Booker is a great voice for the city... and lets not forget a successful Newark means a more successful New Jersey. That isn't liberal or whatever. its just common sense... You look at Newark under James, and now... You just can't say with a straight face that the change isn't radical. Now... My liberal side wishes that Booker wound run for Governor.
Col. Korn September 24, 2012 at 08:01 PM
This isn't about our local politicians: OBAMA has to go, then the whole United States will return to its former glory under the expert Leadership of Romney. Lets all come together for the big win people! Bury your pride in your hip pocket and admit you got fooled! To be fooled once is no crime but to be fooled twice (?), For shame! We need a manager in the white house! Somebody who can cut deals and get things moving again is just the right Rx for what ails us. Lets Back Romney and jump start our great Country again! Your Obt. Svt. Col Korn, Chief O’ Mayhem in the Great WW-2 (And the Cold War) Now Chief O’ Security, Sanitation (And the Complaint Dept.) OXOjamm Studios.
Martin September 24, 2012 at 08:15 PM
I never saw "expert" and "leadership" in the same sentence as "Romney" before. "Gaffe" and "out of touch" are the usual words for Mitt, as the polls show. Put a fork in him... he's done.
George September 24, 2012 at 08:20 PM
That propaganda movie has been widely debunked, and the Dixiecrats faded out in the '60s. Recent history is more relevant to this election -- Bush's recession, unfunded war for weapons of mass destruction, millionaires' tax breaks, etc.
Sue September 24, 2012 at 08:28 PM
The conservatives defended their last ticket profusely, and LBJ swamped Goldwater. It's deja vu all over again with Mittens and Lyin' Ryan. Today's conservatives would kick Reagan, Nixon and Goldwater out of their party -- probably even Bush and Shrub -- because they've gone so far right in 2012. That's why their comments here are so laughable.
Shep Proudfoot September 24, 2012 at 08:38 PM
You stole it, now you are ruining it. It never really was Your country. What a mess you have made.

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