New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker is Spartacus no more.
The Democrat backtracked Thursday from his much-mocked “I am Spartacus” moment during last week’s Supreme Court confirmation hearing, saying he didn’t mean to compare himself to the rebel slave.
But he also did not express any regrets over his theatrical behavior.
"It doesn’t take away from the larger point and, again, all of this is about the larger point. We have documents that have been hidden from the public, that shouldn’t have been hidden from the public."
“It doesn’t take away from the larger point and, again, all of this is about the larger point. We have documents that have been hidden from the public, that shouldn’t have been hidden from the public,” Booker said in an interview with the Hill.
“After I was threatened with expulsion and had my character challenged, I was very happy that colleague after colleague after colleague stepped up,” Booker continued. “In fact I think [Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois] said if you throw him into the pit, I want to be in the pit with you.”
Booker, a potential 2020 presidential election contender, was ridiculed after threatening to defy the Senate rules and release what he thought were confidential documents concerning Kavanaugh’s past. “This is about the closest I’ll probably ever have in my life to an ‘I am Spartacus’ moment,” he said at the time.
After Booker's dramatic declaration, it was revealed that he already had approval to disclose the emails.
Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, one of the most cautious members of the high court, took a swipe at Booker in an interview aired on C-SPAN, saying the New Jersey senator’s behavior undermines the confirmation process.
“Honorable – if we could use that word about more people who are in public life, people who actually ask the questions at confirmation hearings, instead of 'Spartacus,'” Thomas said, prompting loud laughter in the audience.
He criticized Booker and other Democrats for trying to score political “points,” look “cute” and be on television rather than helping to put the country into “better shape, morally, structurally than we found it.”
Thomas’ comments apparently didn’t reach Booker. “It’s not even important to me. I haven’t seen it. I’m not going to comment on that,” he said.
As for the the mockery that ensued over his performance, he remains unabashed. “I can laugh along with other people,” the senator said. “Senators say things all the time that are funny, whatever.”