Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Newark mayor says Florida is critical to Obama

Newark Mayor Cory Booker delivers the keynote address Saturday night at the Hillsborough Democrats Kennedy King dinner at the Tampa Convention Center.


Newark Mayor Cory Booker delivers the keynote address Saturday night at the Hillsborough Democrats Kennedy King dinner at the Tampa Convention Center.

TAMPA — Newark Mayor Cory Booker spent Saturday night at the Tampa Convention Center preaching to the politicians.

As the keynote speaker of the Hillsborough Democrats Kennedy King dinner, Booker used personal stories, well-worn jokes and Baptist minister intonation to hammer home his message: "Stay faithful."

He encouraged a who's who of Florida Democrats, and former Gov. Charlie Crist, to continue their grass-roots efforts to get people registered to vote and out to the polls on Election Day. Booker has been on the trail for President Barack Obama's re-election campaign and also spoke at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte.

"You, right now, are in the center of the fight for the American Dream," Booker said. "It will be decided by what we do between now and Oct. 9, and what we do between now and Nov. 6."

In Florida, Oct. 9 is the deadline to register to vote for the presidential election, which is Nov. 6.

Booker participated in a get-out-the-vote drive in Tampa earlier Saturday and marveled at how young and enthused some of the volunteers were.

"I'm supposed to be the hyper, not the hypee," Booker laughed.

Now in his second term as mayor of Newark, Booker touted his successes — several crime reduction programs, a large park project, convincing major corporations to bring their headquarters to Newark.

Sometimes referred to as "America's Mayor,'' Booker showcased part of his tenure on the documentary series Brick City. He gained notoriety for pulling his neighbor from a burning house and digging out the cars of Newark's citizens following a snowstorm.

In a pre-speech interview, Booker was asked about his seeming defense of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney's record at Bain Captial on Meet the Press in May.

"In this combustible period, where a sound bite becomes the next headline, I don't like those sort of broad-brush attacks," Booker said. He said he agreed with the president's stance that Bain Captial was a wealth creator not a job creator, and that Romney's jobs record should be challenged.

He dodged questions about the possibility of a run for governor of New Jersey. He told reporters he will evaluate his personal and political future after the election.

On Saturday night, Booker tried to keep the focus on the task of re-electing the president.

He told the audience that Florida — and Hillsborough County in particular — are going to be crucial in getting Obama a second term.

Booker praised Florida Democrats for staying the course in a state with a Republican governor and Republican-dominated legislature.

"The democracy that I long for will probably be decided in this state," he said. "The battle before you may be hard, but it's not impossible."

Newark mayor says Florida is critical to Obama 09/22/12 [Last modified: Saturday, September 22, 2012 11:28pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Federal study says humans harmed by dispersant used during Deepwater Horizon


    A first-of-its-kind scientific study has determined that the dispersant BP sprayed at the oil gushing from the Deepwater Horizon rig in 2010 harmed human health.

  2. Across Tampa Bay, local commercial banks and credit unions appear healthy


    In another sign of economic vitality, Florida's home-grown banking industry demonstrated strong bench strength in the latest quarterly analysis by Bauer Financial. The vast majority of commercial banks with headquarters in Florida received five "stars" from Bauer, which is the highest ranking of health on its 0-to-5 …

    Several years ago, First Home Bank in Seminole faced regulators breathing down its neck for inaedquate controls and financial weakness. Under CEO 
Anthony N. Leo, the bank has rebounded. It received a top-rated "5" star rating from Bauer Financial in the latest quarter. Most area banks are doing better these days. [SCOTT KEELER      |     TIMES]
  3. Two linemen lose their wedding rings in Tampa Bay. So far one has been found and returned.

    Human Interest

    Two linemen who spent days restoring power in the Tampa Bay area had the same unfortunate mishap: They lost their wedding rings.

    Facebook helped Michael White find the wedding ring he lost while helping restore power in Tampa Bay.
  4. Need is now for new mental health center at Bay Pines, veterans say


    ST. PETERSBURG — Veteran Ellsworth "Tony" Williams says the Bay Pines VA Healthcare System's new mental health center will help fill an immediate need.

    The new mental health center at the Bay Pines VA Healthcare System stands four stories tall and was built at a cost of $92 million. It will centralize services that before were scattered. [HOWARD ALTMAN   |   Staff]
  5. GOP health bill all but dead; McCain again deals the blow


    WASHINGTON — Sen. John McCain declared his opposition Friday to the GOP's last-ditch effort to repeal and replace "Obamacare," dealing a likely death blow to the legislation and, perhaps, to the Republican Party's years of vows to kill the program.

    Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington in July.  McCain says he won't vote for the Republican bill repealing the Obama health care law. His statement likely deals a fatal blow to the last-gasp GOP measure in a Senate showdown expected next week. [Associated Press]