Dec 4, 2019

Booker: "There's more billionaires in the race than there are black people"

Cory Booker. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Sen. Cory Booker described his initial reaction to Sen. Kamala Harris's exit from the 2020 presidential race on Buzzfeed's AM2DM show as anger since there are now more billionaires in the race than black people.

Why it matters: Harris, the first top-tier candidate to drop out, told her supporters that she doesn't have the financial resources to continue her pursuit of the presidency and isn't a billionaire, so cannot fund her own campaign. Former hedge fund manager Tom Steyer and ex-New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg have received a barrage of criticism for buying their way into the 2020 race.

What Booker is saying:

"The first reaction was just anger. Kamala, you know before she was a presidential candidate or a senator, she was my friend. She was my sister. And the way her experiences in this race have just been disappointing to me.
"Frankly, to see her not letting the voters of Iowa decide her destiny as opposed to what we see now is just unfortunate.
"And I’ve seen the vile and the anger from my family members to people in the Congressional back caucus to leaders of color across this country. They don’t understand how we got to the point now that there’s more billionaires in the 2020 race than there are black people. At a time when the very theme of the Democratic Party is that billionaires and millionaires shouldn't shape the rules to benefit them."

Reality check:

  • There are currently two African Americans in the Democratic primary race: Booker and former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick.
  • There are currently two billionaire Democrats running: Bloomberg and Steyer.

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Andrew Yang: Tom Steyer, Michael Bloomberg's enormous ad buys are a "dud"

Andrew Yang. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images

Democratic candidate Andrew Yang noted that the heavy ad spend from his fellow 2020 contenders, billionaires Michael Bloomberg and Tom Steyer, reflects "a very poor track record," of prior self-funded candidates, but stopped short of outright criticizing them, Yahoo reports.

The big picture: The two billionaires in the race have collectively spent more than $181 million in TV ads so far. The other Democratic candidates have spent about $28 million combined, according to data consulting company Kantar.

Go deeperArrowDec 12, 2019

Democrats call out lack of diversity in 2020 race after Harris' exit

Sens. Cory Booker and Kamala Harrisat the 50th NAACP Image Awards in Hollywood in March. Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Leading Democrats including presidential candidates Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and former HUD Secretary Julián Castro spoke out against an increasing lack of diversity in the 2020 race following the exit of Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) Tuesday.

Go deeperArrowDec 4, 2019

Kamala Harris drops out of 2020 presidential race

Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Image

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) is dropping out of the 2020 presidential race, her campaign confirmed to Axios on Tuesday.

"I’ve taken stock and looked at this from every angle, and over the last few days have come to one of the hardest decisions of my life. My campaign for president simply doesn’t have the financial resources we need to continue. I’m not a billionaire. I can’t fund my own campaign. And as the campaign has gone on, it’s become harder and harder to raise the money we need to compete."
— Kamala Harris wrote in an email to supporters
Go deeperArrowDec 3, 2019