“There’s no bigger policy wonk nerd in this race than me. Anybody who knows me in the Senate, that’s my forte,” Booker, D-N.J., highlighted Monday in an interview with Fox News and NHTalkRadio.com.
Booker, who was interviewed aboard his campaign’s New Hampshire RV, emphasized that “there’s been 170-180 plans put out by every candidate. We’re all putting out plans. I love mine. I think in so many cases my plans are better. Heck, we are the only people to put out a plan on child poverty. How can that be?”
And, he indirectly took aim at Warren, D-Mass., who’s soared in recent months to a tie with former Vice President Joe Biden for the top spot in the 2020 primary race.
“I stand with Elizabeth Warren. I think ‘Medicare-for-all’ is the best way to do it. But, I also actually believe that it’s going to be a process to get there,” Booker noted. “We can’t be in a situation where we’re just talking away insurance from folks.”
Warren has been a major supporter of the “Medicare-for-all” plan introduced in the Senate by 2020 rival Sen. Bernie Sanders. The government-run plan, if enacted, would eliminate private insurance.
Booker, spotlighting his pragmatism, added, “I will not be one of those folks on the stage that’s so rigid to say, ‘It’s my way or the highway and I’m going to sacrifice progress for purity. I’m going to let perfect be the enemy of the good,’ when every American needs more good.”
Asked if some of his nomination rivals were too rigid, Booker answered, “that’s what voters are going to have to decide.”
Warren came under repeated attack at last week’s fourth-round primary debate over her refusal to discuss whether taxes would go up for middle-class Americans to implement her proposal for a government-run “Medicare-for-all” plan. She announced Sunday that she would soon reveal how the country would pay for it if she were president.
Booker has built up a formidable team in New Hampshire and Iowa, the first two states to vote in the caucus and primary calendar. Analysts have called him a skilled retail campaigner and arguably the best orator in the record-setting field of presidential contenders. But, he’s yet to pop in the polls or have many viral moments.
However, with three and a half months to go until the voting begins, that’s fine with Booker.
“The people that usually win are the people who peak in January, February, not people who are winning in the summer or winning in the fall. We’ve just got to continue doing the work,” he noted.
And, pointing to one-time longshots who ended up winning the nomination and eventually the White House, he said, “the more people who hear my message, the more [success] and momentum we’re getting and I’m hoping that continues to rise. And, by the time we’re in next year, I hope we’ll do what Bill Clinton, the comeback kid, or Jimmy Carter – who won New Hampshire – I’ll follow in their footsteps.”