CHARLOTTE, N.C. — At a Tuesday afternoon Planned Parenthood rally outside the NASCAR Hall of Fame, near the Democratic National Convention, Newark, N.J. Democratic Mayor Cory Booker rallied the Obama faithful with a forceful speech about Republican extremism.
Promising to get “controversial,” Booker spoke about watching the Republican National Convention (RNC) last week in horror.
“Then I heard something that is one of the reflections and echo of some of the most insulting things we have been hearing for a long time,” Booker said of the RNC in Tampa. “I heard people stand up and say ‘I love women.’ I heard people stand up: ‘I’ve got a sister,’ ‘I’ve got a mother.’ That’s like saying you’re not a bigot because you have a black friend.”
According to Booker, while Republicans say they love different groups, their actions do not say the same things as their lips.
“I don’t understand how somebody can say they love women when they are denying women access to health care, when they are denying women strategies to protect their life, when they are implementing policies that undermine all the ground that we have gained — not as just women, but as this nation.”
Booker spoke about the reduction of funding to Planned Parenthood in New Jersey and the reductions to access that he said resulted.
“They may tell people they love women, but when they do things like that, they are setting all of us back,” he said.
“This to me is an affront to where our nation should be going. You see there are some people in the Republican Party that believe that when they say ‘All men are created equal,’ that they are leaving out women themselves,” Booker said. “That is not the nation we are. We fought those battles a long time ago.”
A woman’s ability to choose an abortion is a prime difference between the Republican and Democratic platform, Booker said, charging that even some Republicans reject the abortion plank of the GOP platform.
“If Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan get elected, we will see the retraction of the rights for women’s health,” he said. “We will see a defunding of Planned Parenthood. We will see an elimination of a woman’s right to choose because that is what they want.”
Booker concluded that in order preserve progress, women and men must get out and vote for Obama.
“It’s time for a man who does not ever have to tell us he loves women, because the first thing he did when he got in office was sign the Lilly Ledbetter [Fair Pay] Act. It is time for us to re-elect a man who does what he believes in, who stands up for our rights, who believes in inclusion, who doesn’t think we should be a party of me but a party of we. It is time that we put Barack Obama back in the White House,” Booker said to cheers.
Videography by Sarah Hofmann