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Sen. Cory Booker speaks with Yahoo Finance [TRANSCRIPT]

Below is Yahoo Finance’s interview with Senator Cory Booker from the “All Markets Summit: America’s Financial Future.

ANDY SERWER:Good afternoon, everyone. Come on, give it up for Senator Cory Booker here. Let’s do that, hey.

SENATOR CORY BOOKER: I was describing that before as a smattering performance.

ANDY SERWER: Well, you know, I was robust. Senator Booker–

SENATOR CORY BOOKER: Like–

HUNTER WALKER: Right, exactly. (LAUGH) Good for them. And also, of course, Hunter Walker, who’s the White House correspondent for Yahoo News. Thank you for joining us as well, Hunter.

HUNTER WALKER: Thanks for havin’ me.

ANDY SERWER: Senator, again, great to see you. Thanks for coming here.

SENATOR CORY BOOKER: Thank you for having me. I’m excited to be here.

ANDY SERWER: I wanna ask you about the midterms. And let’s ask you to kind of assess what happened. Was it a victory for the Democrats, a split decision? And what does it mean for the future?

SENATOR CORY BOOKER: Well, I think it was a great blue wave, frankly. And–I think the way you look at that is, you know, remember, we were defending about ten Senate seats in states that Trump won. Five of them he won by around 20 points or more. So we had a very bad hand of cards that a incumbent president with that kind of performance in those states, we– we should’ve probably lost more, to–to keep Tester in, which was an incredible race, Joe Manchin ran an incredible race.

We picked up Arizona. We picked up Nevada. And now we’ll see what will happen in Florida. So all in all– we knew the Senate was gonna be a difficult picture and it’s much better than I think– the pundits would say. But the House was a completely different story. I mean, you see– incredible victories.

My state, I think about two cycles ago, had a House delegation of six-six Republican-Democrat. Now we’re 11-1. And we’ve seen that replicated in a lot of places, from Iowa sending two new women to the Senate. And I think that’s the great story in this election, is you have a freshman delegation that looks more like America looks than ever before in gender diversity, religious diversity, racial diversity.

It’s just an incredible, new crop of young leaders. And I say young, not just in age, and there are very young people in this crop. But the people who got off the sidelines and hadn’t been involved or engaged before and are new– to try to bring their spirit and energy to Washington.

So there’s a lot to be hopeful for– the governor’s races and more. But I think the message that we have to– all of us in Washington, right and left, is, hey, there are people really hurting out there, Republican and Democrat. There’s a lotta common pain. And what they need from Washington is for us to find a sense of common purpose again and find a way to get things done and address issues that everybody’s talking about, but we’re not moving the needle along the way we should.

HUNTER WALKER: And Senator now that Congress has gotten back to work one of the bigger pieces of legislation that–

ANDY SERWER: You say that now very generously. A couple hours ago–

HUNTER WALKER: Right? But with the midterms outta the way, you know, one of the– one of the bigger pieces of legislation that we’re hearing about is this– Senate bill to protect the Special counsel, to protect Robert Mueller. I’m wondering, do you wanna see a vote on that? And what is your response to Republican opposition.

SENATOR CORY BOOKER: Yeah, when you write a bill, you wanna see it voted on. (LAUGH) So it is a bill I did in coordination with Chris Coons on my side, but Tillis and Lindsey Graham on the other side. We did this bill a while ago, tried to push it forward. And actually got it voted on in the Senate Judiciary Committee, and got it outta committee, which in and of itself, you would think, wait a minute, here’s a bill to protect the special prosecutor–to hold the president accountable for doing that. It’s a pretty significant check on presidential power.

What I think is an important check and balance to presidential power, very thoughtful, very moderate bill. And I think it’s very important. And we’ve seen signs of its importance not just now. I mean, when you have a president openly attacking not just the special prosecutor, but agents doing investigation– law enforcement. There’s been so many signs that this president has been in all out attack to undermine the legitimacy of an investigation about an attack on our country. So do I wanna see it voted on? Heck, yeah. Will I continue to push with my cosponsors and now, thank God, Jeff Flake is even coming onboard and talking about the importance of getting it done.

HUNTER WALKER: And Republicans that are sort of reluctant to see it hit the floor, where do you think that’s coming from?

SENATOR CORY BOOKER: I don’t know because it’s, again, it’s a very moderate bill. It’s just saying if the president moves on the special counsel, there should be some kind of independent oversight to that action to make sure it was done for cause and not political agenda or not defending yourself. At the end of the day, we have a reality where the design we need to make sure is clear.

That the president has certain authorities, but he’s not above the law. And that’s really what we’re working–no American wants a president that is regal. You know, you don’t want a king. You want a president that is subject to the rule of law.

ANDY SERWER: Can I switch gears a little bit, Senator, and ask you about Facebook? And obviously, we all were riveted to those hearings a few months back and saw you there. I wanna ask you if you’re satisfied with the steps that the social media companies have made. And– and where do you think that’s going in our society?

SENATOR CORY BOOKER: Hey, look, the short answer’s no, I’m not satisfied. There’s a process that’s to be done. And steps in the right direction. I think that they clearly understand the urgency for reform. You had something that was, I thought, a very great sign where you had them even speaking up, endorsing some of the great bills that are out there, like Amy Klobuchar’s bills and others.

I think the obligation though falls on not just them to try to police themselves and their practices, but this has changed the face of America in a very short– period of time, where these handful of companies are virtual monopolies or you know a few oligarchies, a few companies controlling the entire– space.

And they make our democracy vulnerable to the kind of things we’ve seen before. And the sophistication continues to grow with our enemies trying to attack us and undermine us. So I think that this is an area with, with ongoing attacks, ongoing efforts to undermine what is most sacred in a democracy, which is the ability to conduct free and fair elections, we should create some rules of the game. And I think I’m one of those people. And again, this is on both sides of the aisle, who believes we need to start doing some reasonable regulations of that space.

ANDY SERWER: A quick follow up question ’cause there are so many issues here that are– that are connected. You mentioned the elections, the Russians. Are you satisfied with the recount process going on in Florida? And what are some of the dangers that you see with this?

SENATOR CORY BOOKER: Well, I think there’s– first of all, Florida and Georgia have my– my attention right now. And Georgia, I mean, I don’t understand how you can have a guy who’s running for an office, who’s currently holding office, supposed to be policing and protecting elections, using that office to disenfranchise people, to remove people from the polls.

I mean, there should be a federal investigation. The Justice Department should be investigating– that election to make sure it was fair and– and the decisions that were made were not to politically advantage someone, but to protect voters and the voting process. And I believe right now– and again, I’m saying this from a perspective where I have not been in the weeds, but I think that Stacey Abrams’ election is being stolen from her, using what I think are insidious measures to disenfranchise certain groups of people.

And that’s something I think that all of us should be calling for is the Trump Justice Department should conduct an investigation into what happened because on the on the appearance of it, that’s not just appearance of impropriety. To me, it’s the appearance of voter fraud, voter disenfranchisement, voter suppression.

In Florida right now I hear a lot of allegations coming from the Republican candidate. But clearly, you have local officials right now who are pushing back and trying to do a reasonable recount. They have a law in place that– where a recount is triggered. Clearly, Nelson has triggered that. He’s I think 1.5%, if I have it right– between him and his opponent.

And so I think that there is a process in place right now. I’ve called into– some of the Democratic lawyers who are down there. And there’s a feeling that right now, the process is moving along, as we would– as we would expect. And so I just want a fair process. I want votes to be counted. People who participate in elections should have the confidence that their vote’s gonna be counted.

And that they’re not gonna be disenfranchised for, you know, my “I forgot my middle initial in my signature and they don’t match.” All those kinda games seem to be going on. And we need to make sure that– that there’s a fair process. And if there is, I think you’re gonna continue to see Nelson close that gap.

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) speaks as members of the Senate Judiciary Committee meet to vote on the nomination of judge Brett Kavanaugh to be a U.S. Supreme Court associate justice on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., September 28, 2018. REUTERS/Jim Bourg

ANDY SERWER: And it’s amazing how sort of antiquated and patch worked our election processes are and how they differ state by state. I mean, it’s kind of mind boggling I think to the average American that it’s the way it is, right?

SENATOR CORY BOOKER: Yeah. Absolutely. And we as a country, when you know we have enemies who are trying to shake our confidence in our elections, undermine our elections, test our systems in every single way we should be making a bigger bipartisan move to protect our elections and secure them and make sure that the processes are sacrosanct in every way.

ANDY SERWER: Wanna shift gears again and ask you about an economic proposal that you’ve put forth, nicknamed Baby Bonds. And it has to do with providing young people in needy communities, I understand, with– with money early in– in their childhood, and then adding to it and creating an account that they can use for education or possibly housing, if I have it right. That’s where I wanna start with you, Senator, to– to spell that out. What is it called? What is your proposal? How does it work, et cetera?

SENATOR CORY BOOKER: Well, first of all, let’s understand where we’re trending as a country, which is very different than where our fathers and mothers were. The wealth gap in this country in 1963, the difference between the wealthiest and the middle class Americans was, like– six times. Now it’s up to 12 by 2016.

Dramatic disparities in income are happening where you have a third of families in America that have no transferrable wealth or negative transferrable wealth to their children. And our laws right now are designed to benefit wealthier Americans. Our tax code is designed to give tens and tens of billions of dollars in benefits just for being wealth (SIC) and having assets.

And when we see things like the mortgage interest deduction or the state and local tax deductions, those things incredibly, like, maybe the average, you know– low income family gets about $0.08 a month from those deductions. The middle class families get about 12 bucks a month.

If you’re a wealthy family, you’re gonna get about $1,200 from those just th– those– those advantages in the tax code th– that again– add to about $70 billion a year in our tax code that just shifts more resources to those who already have money. And so this idea in America where, if I work hard, frugal, play by the rules, I can build wealth to transfer, that’s actually fading.

And what you see is the very idea of America, that this is the best country if you’re poor, to be born. Well, that was true in my father’s generation. But now, you could see that mu– moving up the ladder’s getting to be easier in other countries while we are stagnant and the wealth gap is growing.

So this is just– an idea that has been bounced around a lot. We put it now into a bill that says every family, not rich or poor, every family– you’re born in the United States of America. This is a country where you’re gonna get $1,000 in an account right away. And every single year, depending on your family’s income, you’ll have money added to that.

And so the poorest of the poor– could get up to $2,000 every year added to that. By the time that they’re 18 years old– they could have a nest egg of about $50,000. And depending again the income scale, you’ll have everything from– a few thousand for the richest of the rich, to people who’ve benefits with 3% interest– upwards of $50,000.

And that money then could be used for what we know in our country are the best bets for accruing wealth creation, which is buying a house, as you said, securing higher education or specialized skills. And so what we’ve seen just from the data is that this is one of the way– best ways to re-empower the idea of America, that everybody in this country, the wealthiest nation on the w– in the c– on the earth, is gonna have agency and wealth creation.

As opposed to the trend we’re going in now, where 90% of baby boomers did better than their parents, we’re down to 50%, coin toss, on whether you’re gonna (UNINTEL) your parents. The idea of America’s declining. This can break through that and help to create wealth across the board, agency empowerment, investment in the system, as opposed to what many people are doing– who just stopped believing in the system and the im– and the idea that America– that if you play by the rules, it’s gonna work for you.

HUNTER WALKER: And, you know, I know as– as you’re discussing it now, there’s sort of changes. You know, relative to income, people will benefit from this differently. And one thing that’s coming out in the analysis of this is that, you know, for the average white person– they would be projected to get about $15,000 from this, whereas black and Latino households, it’s up over $25,000. And some people are even talking about this as tantamount to reparations. Do you mind that it would benefit minorities disproportionately? And do you mind that characterization?

SENATOR CORY BOOKER: Well, l– let’s understand where– where we are. We have this– we have historic legacies of discrimination in this country that did affect wealth. I mean, everything from African Americans’ abilities to take advantage of the GI Bill, even though that they fought was– was really deeply affected. We know that in the 1960s even, red lining was going on, FHA policies stopping African Americans– and minorities from even accruing wealth the way we transferred wealth.

So you had red lining and FHA policies that were disempowering the very ways that people entered wealth. My family’s story is one of those stories. Was where we were facing– incredible discrimination just buying a house in– house in an area where people accrued wealth. So we had to get a white family to pose as us in 1969 to even buy a how– the house that helped my family create a lotta wealth to pass on– to– generationally.

So this may have a racial impact– which– in many ways, because if you look at the stratification of wealth through a racial lens, you see stunning things. Like, where the average African American family in this country has in total wealth, about $1,200. The average black family has $12,000 (?). In some regions in our country, it’s just stunning.

The greater Boston area, the average white family has about $250,000 of wealth. The average black family, $8. And so you– you see an– the policies of this country up until the 1970s overtly were trying to stop the wealth accrue– accruement– of– of minorities and benefiting others. And so this is gonna have– an effect to– to deal with the racial wealth gap, which is– which is– a part of the parcel, the larger effort because if you and I were to travel to poor, white areas, they’re stuck in that same trap.

And even though disproportionately it’s the African Americans stuck, the reality is we have a country right now where– where lowest income people are not finding ladders to success. They’re finding quicksand. And so there’s disproportionately minorities in that quicksand. But there’s white folks as well.

So this is a bill that ultimately is about income. It’s not about black people get this money, white people get this money. It’s about economic empowerment. And in this country, if you have a nest egg– imagine you’re 20 years old now, 18 years old, and you wanna now make that investment. “I can get my college education, boom, trampoline– into the middle class. I wanna buy a house, boom, you have wealth that you can now pass on.”

And that’s what really this bill’s about. It’s about creating economic– not just equity, but– but expanding pathways to economic opportunity for every American so we have a nation where everyone who works hard and plays by the rules can succeed.

ANDY SERWER: Senator, this program sounds like kind of a cousin of universal basic income. It’s a little bit like that. And one question people have about UBI, and I would ask you about your program, is how do you pay for it?

SENATOR CORY BOOKER: Well, this is a great– I mean, the wonderful thing about my bill is it’s, like it’s not a radical idea to pay for it. I mean, we just readjust– the state tax back to what it was I think in 2009. And then on the biggest, wealthiest– estates, fifty thou– $50 million or more, which affect a very tiny position– put an added– tax on that, you– you have enough money to pay for this program.

And so this is not some radical need to, like, create m– m– taxes. It’s, like, hey, let’s go back to where we were– in the Obama administration. And– and focus on other corrections within the tax code– that again, remember, the wealthiest families in America have been benefiting from a tax code that benefits the wealthiest, overwhelmingly gives benefits to the wealthiest.

Correct for some of that. And now every single American citizen born in this country– you are gonna start creating from the time you’re born, a nest egg that will grow, and grow, and grow. And that, by the time you’re 18, will– will radically expand your options for success because now, you have a footstool, so to speak, so reach up to higher– aspirations as well as– the w– wealth creation.

Look, income– helps you get by. Wealth in America helps you get ahead. And we have more and more Americans struggling to build wealth. This is a fix to that and creates far more– expanded economic opportunity for this country. And by the way, you give more and more of our kids $50,000– $40,000, $25,000 that they at one point in their life can say, “You know what? I’m gonna not only– I’m gonna buy an investment property. I’m– I’m gonna create– start a business. I’m gonna get– get– technical training.” You– it– it’s actually gonna lift this whole country up because you’re spreading opportunity more equally, as opposed to concentrating opportunity at the wealthiest– of wealthy.

ANDY SERWER: Do you have any kind of price tag on– on the–

SENATOR CORY BOOKER: Yeah–

ANDY SERWER:–on the bill?

SENATOR CORY BOOKER: I mean, the– the bill will cost– $50 billion, $60 billion, $70 billion depending on how you– how you– how you– manage it. But again, that can be paid for by readjusting the estate tax– to what it was– in– in ’09.

ANDY SERWER: I’ve got an idea. You could hit up Bill Gates and the Giving Pledge people, right? I mean, they’re already putting their money to something. Seriously. You could reach out to them and say, “How about putting that money towards towards program?”

SENATOR CORY BOOKER:  I will let you know that maybe when I was mayor, I might’ve asked some people for the kids born in Newark to try to create something like that. But– but remember, the tax code as we see it right now– I mean, compare the benefits of the tax code to a hedge fund operator, the benefits from carried interest, lower tax rate, to a public school teacher who is taking from their pocket to pay for things in their ki– they get a very small tax deduction for the money they’re taking outta their pocket to buy their kids everything from school supplies to sometimes food.

And why are we structuring our tax code? We’re picking winners and losers, thinking that that very wealthy person should get more benefits. Who contributes better to– more to our economy? That 25 working in the hedge fund, or the 50 year old experienced teacher who’s producing the leaders of tomorrow every single day?

But our tax code seems to say that 25 year old– who’s picking stocks is gonna get more tax breaks than that 55 year old public school teacher, who’s– who’s nurturing and inspiring genius in our kids. So let’s have a tax code that is fair and that actually helps to empower more opportunity for more people, as opposed to what I see down in Washington. I’ve been here five years and I’m stunned– at the  multimillion dollar lobbyists that come down every day.

I’ve had these meetings, I still remember, with Claire McCaskill, when I was fighting for the earned income tax credit, another thing. And we were in a c– Democratic caucus meeting. And Harry Reid back then, there was a tar– put– put on the board, what the Republicans were fighting for for– in the tax code and what we were fighting for.

And I understood ours. They were very simple. Child tax credit, earned income– expanding– EITC, other things. But I just– I had to lean over to Claire. I was a new senator. I said, “What is that?” And that’s, like, “Oh, that’s for corporations, putting money overseas to do this.” And she starts explaining the stuff to me. And I’m, like, “That’s outrageous. That’s– corporate profits are at an 85 year high.”

And we see the highest paid lobbyists coming down here for this little jigger to the tax code, this little change to the tax code. Who’s fighting for– for low income Americans to have a tax code that we already know we can measure. Independent estimates show, of all these benefits, like, th– like– like, the mortgage deduction, they– they un– they significantly (UNINTEL) the benefit of the wealthiest Americans.

Now, I’m not saying get rid of that– as a guy who’s a homeowner in Newark. I’m saying that let’s start keeping the eye out towards using our tax code to make sure that we don’t have poverty traps, we don’t have quicksand at the bottom, but we have ladders that can help people accrue wealth to repair the savage inequalities in our country.

But more importantly, a family that has a home, a family that has– a parent with a college education or significant training, their ability to expand opportunities for that family and to blossom– for their communities, for their neighborhoods– th– the– the– the– multiplier effect that has is profound. It’s benefits the richest of Americans. It benefits middle class Americans, it benefits us all.

HUNTER WALKER: Now– Senator, this– this idea has been bouncing around the think tank circuit for a while. But we really haven’t seen anyone with your profile bring it forward. And it’s in fact–

SENATOR CORY BOOKER: Are you saying I’m– I’m big? 

HUNTER WALKER: I mean, certainly, we haven’t seen it seriously proposed in the Senate. And it’s actually a lot more radical than what we’ve seen from Democrats in the past. I mean, Hillary Clinton was proposing just $5,000– for kids growing up in the 2016 election. So do you see this as part of a progressive shift, a shift to the left in the Democratic party? And then when, you know, we have a Wall Street audience. When they see you talking about corporate profits, income inequality, how should they understand you in relation to sort of this progressive Warren and Sanders wing of the party?

SENATOR CORY BOOKER: So two things. One is– besides you’re talking about my profile being big and I need to lose weight (LAUGH)– the– this is not a radical idea. Some of these ideas have come fr– some ideas like this, Baby Bonds, have come from conservative think tanks who like the idea of people developing capital– accounts that they will then invest.

I mean, this is actually a very capitalist idea, this idea that– people who have resources have more agency and can make more decisions. So– I– I love these labels we throw around. I– I get this from people a lotta the time saying, “You’re too far left, you’re too far right.” I’m, like, stop with the labels.

Talk to me about the policies that I support. And you– and let’s see if we agree on that. But– but I’ve met Republicans and Democrats who say (NOISE) different party labels. But when you talk to them, they’re both right up against each other. This country needs policies that are gonna reflect our values.

Our values in this country is you play by the rules, you– you work hard, you should be able to get ahead. We’ve ch– we’ve changed the system in the span of 50 years to having a country where that was really real, to now a country where that’s changed. The symbolism, the minimum wage. When my dad was a young guy, the minimum wage got you above the poverty line.

It hasn’t kept up with inflation and now you’re well below the poverty line. And so to your last point about where people should see me, I– a lotta profiles in the Senate. I was a mayor. Drive down Newark, New Jersey’s main drag right now and see the corporations that I worked with to bring back to the city of Newark our first new hotels, our first new– office towers in decades.

I was all about creating jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs. And small businesses. We’ve have so many small businesses started by local people because I believe that– in the power of the American economy. And– and the decisions I’m making, think about the stuff I’ve gotten done. You know, I just worked with Tim Scott to get the next tax bill, something we wrote called Opportunity Zones.

What is that? The lowest income places in America should draw capital in. But capital’s lazy sometimes. It looks for–there’s five metropolitan areas that get– three quarters of all the venture dollars in America. Just five metropolitan areas. You’re telling me that other metropolitan areas don’t– don’t have great geniuses that capital we created using the tax code.

Tim and I decided, “Hey, let’s get no capital gains tax if you invest in the highest poverty areas from rural poor to urban poor like Camden, New Jersey.” So that’s a bipartisan bill that– that shows my faith in a system if we design it in a way that’s gonna create the right incentives and focus on what America should be focused on. Y– I– I love– a article written by Arthur Brooks.

I’m the first Democrat probably you’re ever gonna hear (LAUGH) quote the head of AEI, the American Enterprise Institute. He this incredible article about him and the Dalai Lama. And– and this is what we need to do, start listening to each other and our values. He beautifully articulated that we f– we can’t create a fetish out of the free market system as if that’s the end in itself.

I’m personally not one of those believers that a millions and millions of private acts of greed are gonna somehow create a better American society. Adam Smith didn’t believe that when– everybody wants to quote The Invisible Hand. He’s the guy that wrote the moral sentiments. Read that essay where he talks about the moral responsible– that capitalism is not an end, it’s a means to a greater end, which is the more effective distribution of opportunity, more effective distribution of wealth.

And we need to make sure that we are– that end that we really seek, to have the best system on the planet earth, to be a light unto nations that in this country good people, hardworking people, earnest people can get ahead and get opportunities. And what we’ve done in the last 50– just in my father’s lifetime, we’ve done is we’ve shut off those opportunities by re-jiggering the system and allowing the wealthier people often to rig the system.

And the benefits not looking out for the middle class, not looking out for that school teacher I described. Not looking out for that person born poor, who in my father’s generation could get outta poverty. But more and more, the focus is that– that just, “Hey, let’s focus on ourselves. Let’s–” somehow, if we kick tax breaks up to the wealthiest of the wealthiest, somehow, that’s gonna trickle down, when we know that’s not the case.

And so my thing is, like, when I sit down and talk to my Republican colleagues like Tim Scott, I find myself on the values of our country we agree so much more than we disagree. And we need to get back to talking about the value propositions of our country. And the best thing when I was mayor, I used to say all the time, the budget of this city s– should reflect the values of this city.

And that’s the best way to look at it. And right now, the budget of our tax code– is – and I agree with Republicans on this–as screwed up as it is,  as multi-paged as it is, as many people just rigged it to benefit them, we need to simplify it and to reflect our values. We need to invest in the things that ultimately are gonna create the greatest good.

ANDY SERWER: All right, so Senator, hearing you talk, and he mentioned Sanders and Warren, I’ve gotta ask you the question–

SENATOR CORY BOOKER: Yes. Do I– do I like Senator–

ANDY SERWER: I mean, you sound like–

SENATOR CORY BOOKER: –Warren? I love–

ANDY SERWER: No–

SENATOR CORY BOOKER: Senator Warren–

ANDY SERWER: You sound (LAUGH) like you’re stumping for something. And I wanna ask you, are you considering a run for the presidency in 2020?

SENATOR CORY BOOKER: Yes.

ANDY SERWER: You are?

SENATOR CORY BOOKER: I’ll– I’ll consider– that. I’m focused right now on my reelection. But is that something I’ll consider? Absolutely.

ANDY SERWER: That’s great to hear–

SENATOR CORY BOOKER: But– but now is not the time to do that. We’ve got reelections in the field– I’ve got a lotta work to do. I’ve just come off an election. I will do my best over the coming– months– to–

ANDY SERWER: When would you make a decision?

SENATOR CORY BOOKER: My decision’s made right now. I’m running for reelection. But will I– will I take some time over the coming months to consider it? I absolutely will. But let’s– like, this is bothersome to me that we– we’re two years out.

ANDY SERWER: Oh, I don’t think– too early.

SENATOR CORY BOOKER: No, it’s– it is too early to say– honestly, right now, this is, like– this is those wonderful moments in Washington where we should be able to come together and get good work done before we start– vulcanizing ourselves– for– for presidential ambitions. I am so excited.

There’s– there’s a fury of conversation goin’ on about criminal justice reform right now. And I’m smack dab in the middle of that. And it’s an issue that rarely gets the– the light– it’s a cancer on the soul of our country– our broken criminal justice system. I’m excited to get to work on a lotta these issues and– and– and think about those things in the–

ANDY SERWER: Great.

SENATOR CORY BOOKER: –months to come.

ANDY SERWER: We’ve gotta– we’ve gotta wrap up. But I’m–

SENATOR CORY BOOKER: But I’m enjoying myself–

ANDY SERWER: –delighted to hear that–

SENATOR CORY BOOKER: This is, like–

ANDY SERWER: –I know, it’s a great conversation–

SENATOR CORY BOOKER: –I feel like I’m relaxing–

ANDY SERWER: –we do too–

ANDY SERWER: It’s a very good conversation–

SENATOR CORY BOOKER: I– I feel very Yahoo purple. I will say this to you though. Whoever is the future leader of this country, and I’m including talking about the guy that’s in that office right now– we need a revival of civic grace in this country. There is– there is too much– hatred and vilification and demonization of people.

Any future leaders, whether they be senators, mayors or community leaders, we need to start calling back to this idea that I was just talking about. We– we are a nation where the lines that divide us are nowhere near as strong as the ties that bind us. We share common values. We need to get back to that core and–that those common values help to drive us again to the great things our ancestors did in driving towards a greater common purpose.

ANDY SERWER: We’re gonna leave it at that. Senator Cory Booker, thank you so much for your time. Hunter Walker from Yahoo News, thank you again.

HUNTER WALKER: Thank you for doing this, Senator.

SENATOR CORY BOOKER: Thank you, Hunter.

ANDY SERWER: And that concludes– this All Market Summit: America’s Financial Future. Thank you for tuning in. And thank you again, to Senator Booker and Hunter Walker and our guests today.