Booker preaches unity in victory speech; promises to match Lonegan ‘negativity’ with ‘positive vision’

NEWARK – Moments ago, Newark Mayor Cory Booker jogged up onto the outdoor stage here outside the Prudential Center to claim his prize.

“It is such an honor to be your Democratic nominee for the United States Senate,” Booker yelled to applause.

He thanked the late U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg, and his adversaries in the Democratic Primary.

“They are our champions, too,” he added of his three fellow Democratic contenders. “We are no longer opponents, we are allies. We are together.”

Booker expanded that point.

“We are called to form a more perfect union,” he said, leaning on an African proverb: “If you want to go fast, go alone, but if you want to go far, go together.”

Booker eschewed those who call him naïve for seeking common ground.

“This is Newark, New Jersey, and we don’t do naïve,” said the Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate. “The power of the people is greater than the people in power. The people united can never be divided. American history is a glorious testimony to people coming together… In Newark, we know it’s not naïve to come together to get things done.

“Make me your senator, New Jersey,” he added amid an upswell of applause. “I will be unwavering in my focus on finding common ground. I will not be concerned with right or left but going forward.”

His voice rose with emotion when he said, “We must make marriage equality the law of the land.”

Social Security and Medicare must never be put at risk, he added.

“I will be someone who speaks truth to power; who will speak for those who can’t hire lobbyists to bend the (law),” said the mayor. 

He opened up on Republican nominee Steve Lonegan. 

“He’s a person of strong beliefs and even stronger rhetoric,” Booker said. “Please know this about me. I will match his negative attacks with positive vision.”

But if Lonegan attacks urban cities, a woman’s right to choose and gay “brothers and sisters,” Booker said he will defend.

"This meeting is entirely off the record. Until somebody leaks it."
—Michael Kempner, addressing a roomful of Democratic powerbrokers organizng for Hillary Clinton