New Jersey mayor gives ‘Democratic response’ to Gov Christie’s RNC speech

Newark, N.J. Mayor Cory Booker gave a New Jersey-flavored Democratic response at last night’s Democratic National Convention. This follow’s New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s keynote address to the Republicans a week ago.

The dinnertime audience — on the Charlotte, N.C., convention floor and watching from home — was far smaller, and the expectations were nothing like the primetime address that Christie gave in Tampa last Tuesday night.

Booker delivered his 11-minute address as co-chairman of the Democrats’ party platform committee, presenting the platform to the convention.

Known as a skilled orator, Booker revved up the crowd a few times with his call for Democratic party values, invoking chants of “USA, USA” and even “Cory, Cory, Cory.”

Democratic Party’s key priorities

When your country is in a costly war and our nation is facing a debt crisis at home, being asked to pay your fair share isn’t class warfare, it’s patriotism,” he said, drawing the USA chants.

Booker spent much of the speech contrasting the Democratic the the Republican one, focusing particularly on economic issues that have become the focus of the election.

He also talked about Democratic proposals to cut the federal deficit and support small businesses, as well as pushing the platform’s continued support of public schools and higher education.

“Our platform and our president have stated clearly that our nation cannot continue to be the world’s number one economy if we are not committed to being the world’s number one educator,” he said.

“This platform is a clear choice,” Booker said at another point, “between economic pathways: forward or back, inclusion or exclusion, grow together as a nation or be a country of savage disparities that favor a fortunate few over the greatest driving force of any economy, a large and robust middle class.”

Post-game punditry

NJ Spotlight’s John Mooney was on a panel of Garden State journalists who dissected the speech afterward, in the second installment of the “Google Plus Hangout on Air” hosted by New Jersey News Commons, a new online collaborative.

Others in the discussion were:

Debra Galant, NJ News Commons

Tom Moran, Newark Star-Ledger

Paul Milo, Newark Patch

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.