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January 7th, 2013
07:53 AM ET

Newark Mayor Cory Booker doesn't spill senate run details, but discusses politics and football

Football, politics, the press. For Mayor Cory Booker of Newark, New Jersey, these are all things he can share friendly banter on. Recently announcing his intention to run for senate, he feels it’s too early to discuss a campaign, or any details. He stops by for an exclusive interview with Soledad.

He says, “I announced my intention to run. The reality is, we have a good senator, been loyal, been there a long time. He has a decision to make. I am focusing on my job for now.” Until any official campaigning begins, Booker looks to continue his work in the city of Newark, saying, “I swore an oath to do my job. I would hate to leave early to do another job.”

Usually praised by the media, a recent New York Time article said Booker was a “better marketer than a mayor.” To this, he says, “It was probably one of the more frustrating articles of my career. I feel like they glossed over what we have done, since instituting articles of my career. They glossed over what we have done, since instituting court reform, prisoner entry reform, doubled the amount of affordable housing to dealing with veterans’ issues. Sometimes you won’t get flowing press. The press sometimes likes to build you up and take you down.”

The politics world is abuzz on President Obama potentially nominating Chuck Hagel for Defense Secretary. The Nebraska Republican and Vietnam War veteran has been criticized for his commitment to Israel’s security and his harsh words toward the homosexual community. Booker believes, “We should give him [President Obama] a lot of deference for decision making, and the good news is, these issues have been highlighted and he tried to address them. And I think in the coming days, he will even more so.”

To pull the conversation away from the seriousness of politics, Booker has a few thoughts on Washington Redskins’ rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III’s, RG3, knee injury this weekend. He says, “I’ve played the game and it’s very difficult to take a guy out. I have seen the same thing at Stamford. I’ve played injured. It would have taken a crowbar to take me out of the game.”