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Cory Booker says Trump is "worse than a racist"

2020 Democratic candidate Sen. Cory Booker claimed on CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday that President Trump is "worse than a racist" and that his rhetoric weaponizes race just as Gov. George Wallace — a staunch segregationist — did in his presidential campaigns.

"The reality is this is a guy who is worse than a racist. He's actually using racist tropes and racial language for political gain. He's trying to use this as a weapon to divide our nation against itself and this is somebody who is very similar to George Wallace, to racists who uses the exact same language."

The big picture: CNN's Dana Bash notes that unlike other 2020 candidates, Booker has criticized Trump's comments as racist, but has hesitated to specifically label the president himself a racist. Booker shot back and said he would not stop short of using the word racist to describe Trump.

  • "We have a demagogue, fear-mongering person who is using race to divide. This is a referendum, not on him, it's actually a referendum on the heart and soul of our country."