CHARLESTON, S.C. (CN) – Democratic presidential hopeful Cory Booker spoke with voters in South Carolina over the weekend to bolster his support in the crucial early primary state, calling on Americans to work together to tackle the country’s biggest problems.
Speaking Saturday in the gymnasium of Burke High School in Charleston, the U.S. senator from New Jersey touched on criminal justice reform, health care, jobs and the environment.
Booker told attendees that his campaign is focused on uniting Americans. He said he will being asking people across the country to get involved in solving the nation’s greatest domestic issues.
“I’m going to put a warning label on my campaign: If I am elected, I am going to ask Americans to help more, serve more, to reach out more because all of the greatness of this country lies in the people,” he said.
He added, “The power is with the people, not with the people in power.”
Booker said the challenges facing the country demand that we do more. He said his campaign is not about just beating Republicans, but rallying Americans around a common cause and purpose.
“America will rise. When we work together, we will rise,” he said.
Booker announced last month he was throwing his hat into the ring for the 2020 presidential race.
He said during his speech that Democrats should focus on the issues that matter to voters rather than solely on defeating President Donald Trump.
“We have got to understand this is not about him, it’s about us, and we should not be motivated by what we are against, but by what we are for as a country,” Booker said.
During Saturday’s event, Brady Quirk-Garvan, chair of the Charleston County Democratic Party, said the party has successfully flipped some seats from Republican to Democrat in recent years.
He pointed to the state’s 1st Congressional District race in which Democrat Joe Cunningham ousted Republican Mark Sanford in November.
“We need to take this campaign home to go awaken others,” Quirk-Garvan said.
Saturday’s visit to downtown Charleston was not Booker’s first trip to the Palmetto State. The day before, he addressed a crowd in Simpsonville, a rural community near Greenville. He has also visited the rural towns of Winnsboro and Sumter in the first weeks of his campaign in an effort to stand out in a crowded race.
The event was co-hosted by the Charleston County Democratic Party, the Charleston Chapter of Indivisible SC and the Lowcountry Students for Political Action.