Taking a page out of Rep. Maxine Waters’ playbook, Sen. Cory Booker called on activists to physically confront members of Congress.
Speaking at the National Conference on Ending Homelessness, the New Jersey Democrat encouraged attendees with a “call to action” to be more aggressive and proactive in their activism.
“Before I end,” he said Wednesday, “that’s my call to action here. Please don’t just come here today and then go home. Go to the Hill today. Get up and please get up in the face of some congresspeople.”
Booker’s advice echoed rhetoric by Waters last month calling on supporters at a rally to harass members of President Trump’s administration.
The potential Democratic presidential hopeful for 2020 also claimed this week that anyone who supports Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is “complicit in evil.”
“I’m here to call on folks to understand that in a moral moment, there is no ‘neutral.’ In a moral moment, there is no ‘bystanders,'” Booker said Tuesday on Capitol Hill, even quoting scripture in his efforts to pillory Kavanaugh. “You are either complicit in the evil, you are either contributing to the wrong, or you are fighting against it.”
By Thursday, Booker had flipped his rhetoric and encouraged civil dialogue instead, calling on people to love their political opponents.
“It is so easy to love people who agree with you, but the real test comes, to love someone who you disagree with. And our political culture right now has become so toxic,” Booker said in an interview with On Being on Thursday.
“I really hope that we are going to see more vulnerability in our politics, that we’re going to see more people willing to talk about their own evolution. I just do hope that this dialogue does come. I don’t know,” Booker said.
“We’re in such a new political space, where you’re seeing the fracturing of the news media, snippets and tweets and soundbites and memes.”
But Booker’s call on Wednesday for activists to engage in aggressive confrontation was still out there as another fine example of what the Democratic Party is offering.
Twitter users roundly condemned the senator’s “irresponsible” plea.
— MegMurph (@AllIn4DJT) July 26, 2018
A sitting Senator encouraging people to violence that’s not good https://t.co/vpQqrcSQDQ
— martin mccabe (@poordadjcu) July 26, 2018
That is incredibly irresponsible.
— Jay Pavey (@jay_pavey) July 26, 2018
Booker really is unhinged. This is the Democrat Party folks https://t.co/fsLor7rbYQ
— Aaron Bandler (@bandlersbanter) July 26, 2018
@SenBooker this is incredibly irresponsible. You and Maxine Waters are going to get people hurt if not killed with this talk. This is not how things work, you don’t get “in the face” of Congress people.
— Veteran For Trump #MAGAveteran (@Veteran4Trump) July 26, 2018
Hopefully people will start getting up in his face since he thinks that is acceptable behavior
— Tim (@tntDVM) July 26, 2018
— Yossi Gestetner (@YossiGestetner) July 26, 2018
@CoryBooker does this include guns at baseball fields or just general pushing, shoving, yelling at restaurants, standing outside of people’s homes, etc. You may need to clarify for Antifa and others in your party
— intersection (@krashcourse1) July 26, 2018
Not surprising, remember this tolerant quote from Obama (imagine if Trump said this LOL) pic.twitter.com/qum4ARRqjT
— GySgt Clark (@GunnyClark) July 26, 2018
Can’t wait til someone gets up in his face and he talks about how disrespectful it is to do that
— Grant Kozak (@GKrollin) July 26, 2018
Thanks Cory. This really moves the ball forward on the civility front.
— scott mack (@ScottMack2506) July 26, 2018