Cory Booker says he's cried 'tears of rage' over Trump rhetoric, claims something 'savagely wrong' with US

One of President Trump's most vocal critics in the U.S. Senate said Friday that he once cried “tears of rage” over the Trump administration’s rhetoric.

U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., made the remark at the Netroots Nation Conference in New Orleans, where other liberal speakers were to include U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif.

The annual convention drew thousands of liberal activists and offered a chance for Democrats considering presidential runs to win over supporters, the Washington Times reported.

“I’m a big believer that if America, if this country hasn’t broken your heart, then you don’t love her enough," Booker continued. "Because there’s things that are savagely wrong in this country.” 

“I’m a big believer that if America, if this country hasn’t broken your heart, then you don’t love her enough. Because there’s things that are savagely wrong in this country.”

- U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J.

One place where Booker claimed to have had his heart broken was Newark, N.J., the struggling Northeast city -- with poverty and crime rates typically among the nation's highest -- where Booker served as mayor from 2006 to 2013.

“Newark has gifted me a wisdom that can only come from wounds, a sense of purpose that can only come from shared pain,” Booker said, according to the Times. “It’s a city that at times where my heart has been broken but I’ve learned that the heart is this interesting organ that, it’s the only one that really works even if it’s gotten broken.”

“Newark has gifted me a wisdom that can only come from wounds, a sense of purpose that can only come from shared pain.”

- U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J.

Booker also lamented for a Democratic Party that, in his view, seems "to have lost our way."

“I think a lot about the Democratic Party nationally and how it seems that that connection to people — where they are, what their experiences are, their struggles, their hurts and their pain — how we seem to have lost our way,” he said.

Anti-Israel sign?

Booker's spokesman, Jeff Giertz, later found himself doing damage control because of a sign that the senator held up during a photo shoot with some attendees of the same New Orleans conference.

The attendees turned out to be activists from the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights, a group that advocates for “anti-racism principles,” according to its website.

The sign Booker held said “From Palestine to Mexico, all the walls have got to go,” raising the eyebrows of pro-Israel supporters. 

Giertz told the Washington Free Beacon that the senator didn’t have time to read the sign “amid the rush” and thought it was only talking about Mexico.  

Giertz added that Booker does believe security barriers are necessary as long as "active terrorist organizations threaten the safety of the people living in Israel."

Last week, Booker implored activists to “please, get up in the face of some congresspeople,” at the National Conference on Ending Homelessness in Washington D.C., Fox News Insider previously reported.

He also joined senior members of Senate last week to oppose Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, saying “you are either complicit in the evil … or you are fighting against it,” Fox News Insider also previously reported.

Amy Lieu is a news editor and reporter for Fox News.