Cory Booker Endorses Joe Biden 

 Berston Field House

Flint, MI

March 9, 2020


Hello, Flint, Michigan. Hello, Flint.

Listen, I cannot tell you how pleased and happy I am to be here.

We announced early in the morning that I was officially endorsing Joe Biden for president of the United States of America.

Now, somebody—I don't know if there's anybody here—but there might be some people who want to know why I'm endorsing Joe Biden.

And I want to tell you right now, it should be obvious. My whole campaign for president of the United States was about the idea that we need to bring this country together. That we are a nation that is too divided; we are a nation where we know this election is not a referendum on one guy in one office, it's a referendum on who we are and who we must be to each other.

And so when you look out at the future of this country and you see that we have the potential to have a Joe Biden, who is truly the statesperson in our party, who is truly the one that's calling us to stand together, not to fall apart, who understands, as he said to me in the car ride over here, the soul of our nation is aching right now.

There are people afraid right now. There are people who see that the darkness has descended into their own personal lives and their own families.

And so for me, it is obvious that Joe Biden is the person; obvious because of, with a wounded nation that it's obvious to me that Joe Biden is a healer.

It's obvious to me that at a time when our nation seems to speak more about walls, we need a president who is going to be a bridge builder.

It is obvious to me that a time that darkness has descended, we need a president who is a light worker. We have had enough of a president that does demeaning; it's time that we have a president that does redeeming.

I know that this is a moral moment in America. It is a moral moment. This election is not about right or left, it's about right or wrong.

And so I am with a person that I know will be about right doing.

But I want to go a little deeper than that. I'm with the person that I know will see us, will see all of us, our dignity and our grace, see the potential of every child, no matter what their background because we all know we have walked a stony road.

Many of us here know, our families just to be here today, to get up this morning we were thanking God because we know what we have overcome. There are many folks in here that know that weeping has endured the night, and it is time that we bring some joy this morning.

My family knows this state; we know Michigan.

Because when my family was struggling in poverty and Jim Crow and the terror of Southern experiences they moved from Louisiana right here to Detroit. My mom was born in Michigan. This was a city that you could go out and get a working class job, My grandfather worked as a UAW worker on an assembly line, member of a Baptist Church right there in Detroit. These were times that people were escaping trauma in the south and looking for hope on the horizon.

It was a time when an honest job, were a union job. It was time for a civil rights movement. It was a time when the promise of this country was not fulfilled, but we know what the great Frederick Douglass said, that there's no struggle there is no progress.

And so I want to just conclude by saying this, we have the right candidate, but we have got to yet show again right here in this great state of Michigan, we've got to begin to show that we are ready for redemptive times. We've got to show that we are ready for what we deserve. And that means that nobody's going to give us our change, we've got to work for it.

Are you all ready to do some work? Are you all ready to go from agonize to organize? Are you ready to go from fear to faith? Are you ready to go from worry to work? Because this moment in time, I'm telling you right now, Michigan, you've got to know that this could be the turning point, not just of a primary campaign, this could be the day we remember where we turned the whole nation around and got us from going the wrong way to the right way.

So I want to end with a story from my family. And I'll tell you on both sides—my momma was born here in Michigan. My dad was from the mountains of North Carolina, and he was born to a single mom in Jim Crow South.

And my father, you know he had some difficult times. His momma couldn't couldn't raise him and ended up being taken in by the community.

And my father used to have just stories as I was a child, most of them I know weren't true. I mean God, I still remember the mountains of North Carolina, he started a story once, he goes let me tell you about when the tsunami hit our town. I'm like dad, you were in the mountains of North Carolina, there's no way a tsunami could have hit your town.

And Mr. Vice President, my dad got mad at me because I challenged him. He was like, boy don't you disrespect me. You remember the Ten Commandments; you better honor your mother and father. And I'm like okay, Dad, tell me your story.

So tells this one story Mr. Vice President about him sitting in the back of the classroom. And the teacher walked in, it was the first day of school. And the teacher said, y'all, y'all this classroom, I need to teach you all about self esteem. Anybody in this classroom thinks you're stupid, I want you to stand up right now. And none of the boys and girls moved; they just had their sat there kind of confused by the question. And the teacher stood there looking impatient She goes, come on now anybody thinks you're stupid, I want you to stand up right now. And my father said nobody moved. The teacher was looking upset, standing there staring at the kids. So finally my father said he pushed his chair back and stood up. And the teacher was kind of concerned. She goes, Mr. Booker, boy, what's wrong with you, you think you're stupid, you think you're dumb? And my father said he scratched his head and said shucks, ma'am, I don't think I'm stupid, but I didn't want you to be the only one standing.

We as a people have been talked down to enough. My dad told me boy people are going to talk down at you, you've still got to stand up. They're going to heap insults upon you, but you've got to stand up. My father said that no matter what. even if you stumble and fall, you stand, but don't stand by yourself, join with others and stand together. Because that's what God is there, two or three people are gathered in his midst. He is in the midst; you know this.

And so I just have one humble request. Will you stand with me now for Joe Biden. Will you stand with me right now in the name of healing. Will you stand with me right now in the name of right. Will you stand with me for a statesman. Will you stand with me for a man that has shown he is with us, he is part of us, he will never look down on us; he will lift us up. I bring you the next president of the United States of America, stand with me for Joe Biden.