In an impassioned speech on Saturday, Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., admonished the notion of adopting President Trump's "tactics," and encouraged Democrats to make the presidential election about "love," not hate.
"We will not beat Donald Trump by fighting him using his tactics on his turf, on his terms. He wants this election to be about hate," Booker shouted to a crowd at the South Carolina Democratic Convention.
"We better make it about love. He wants to make this election about tearing people down. We're going to make it about building people up."
Booker went on to frame the election as more than just a referendum on Trump. "It's a referendum on who we are to each other. And we are a nation of love," he said. He specifically decried lower life expectancy and economic success among a newer generation of Americans.
"We live in perilous times," he said. "We could be the first generation of Americans to have lower life expectancy than our one before. We see this nation now -- baby boomers, 95 percent did better economically than their parents. We're down to 50/50."
Booker has led the majority of 2020 Democratic candidates in polling but lags many other candidates in the race. According to RealClearPolitics polling average, he was behind politicians like former Rep. Beto O'Rourke, D-Texas, as well as Sens. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.
He and the frontrunner, former Vice President Joe Biden, exchanged criticism after Biden mentioned how he previously worked with segregationist senators. Booker called on Biden to apologize but the former VP refused and said Booker should offer his own apology. Booker has refused.