New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker said on Saturday that he will not run for president in 2020.
“Four years will be here in a blink. Are you going to run for president?” CNN’s Brooke Baldwin asked Booker during an interview at the Women’s March in Washington, D.C.
“No,” Booker said emphatically, “and I think we make a mistake…if we’re focused on four years from now.”
“I will definitely be one of many in this country lifting our voice stepping out to fight, but we weaken ourselves if we think that this is about 2020.”
Many observers have expected Booker to mount a White House run. That speculation peaked earlier this month when Booker testified against his Senate colleague, Alabama’s Jeff Sessions, during his nomination hearing for attorney general. Booker’s unprecedented testimony was seen by many as fodder for a 2020 campaign highlight reel.
The Democrat was considered a possible candidate for the 2016 race but never entered the picture. He was also reportedly vetted as a vice presidential candidate for Hillary Clinton. She chose Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine instead.
And despite his strong denial on Saturday, he will still be considered a strong candidate to enter the race. Few politicians commit to running for president so far ahead of a presidential campaign, though Booker’s statement is noteworthy in that it was so adamant.
In his interview, Booker also hinted that he believes Trump may not make it through his entire presidential term.
“I’ve seen intelligence briefings. I’ve sat in on foreign policy committee hearings. What can happen in the next four years, if we wait until four years — too many things can happen that can hurt people in our nation and around the globe if this president isn’t checked,” he said.
“So right now, I don’t care about 2020; I don’t care about 2018.”