Booker holds 'Get Out the Vote' event in South Carolina as presidential speculation builds

Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerRand Paul introduces bill to end no-knock warrants Black lawmakers unveil bill to remove Confederate statues from Capitol Harris grapples with defund the police movement amid veep talk MORE (D-N.J.) traveled to South Carolina on Thursday, slamming the Trump administration and the current state of politics as speculation rises about his potential as a 2020 presidential contender.

Booker, who held a “Get Out the Vote” event at Allen University in Columbia, knocked the Trump administration’s handling of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi’s disappearance.

“I’m worried about efforts to cover this up,” Booker said, according to the Associated Press. “I’m worried about our administration being willing to just go along to get along because of a lot of the financial interests we might have.”

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Booker lamented today’s political climate, though he did not explicitly blame President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE.

“If America hasn’t broken your heart, you don’t love her enough,” Booker told several hundred students at the historically black university. “The Republicans didn’t do this to us. We did it to ourselves,” he added, calling on the audience to honor earlier generations of civil rights activists by voting.

Booker told reporters after his speech that the he believed November’s midterm elections would be a “reaction” to Trump and that enthusiasm among independent and female GOP voters showed they “are outraged by what’s going on,” the AP reported.

Booker is widely seen as a possible 2020 presidential contender in an increasingly crowded field of Democrats. The New Jersey senator has also made trips to key states, including Iowa, Florida, Michigan and Wisconsin.

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenHillicon Valley: Biden calls on Facebook to change political speech rules | Dems demand hearings after Georgia election chaos | Microsoft stops selling facial recognition tech to police Trump finalizing executive order calling on police to use ‘force with compassion’ The Hill’s Campaign Report: Biden campaign goes on offensive against Facebook MORE, another possible 2020 hopeful, has so far made trips to Iowa, Florida and South Carolina, among others. Sens. Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Hill’s 12:30 Report: Milley apologizes for church photo-op Harris grapples with defund the police movement amid veep talk Biden courts younger voters — who have been a weakness MORE (I-Vt.), Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenWarren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases OVERNIGHT DEFENSE: Joint Chiefs chairman says he regrets participating in Trump photo-op | GOP senators back Joint Chiefs chairman who voiced regret over Trump photo-op | Senate panel approves 0B defense policy bill Trump on collision course with Congress over bases with Confederate names MORE (D-Mass.) and Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisRand Paul introduces bill to end no-knock warrants The Hill’s Campaign Report: Biden campaign goes on offensive against Facebook McEnany says Juneteenth is a very ‘meaningful’ day to Trump MORE (D-Calif.) have also made trips to crucial presidential states.

Sanders and Harris will both visit South Carolina later this week, and Biden made an appearance in the Palmetto State last week, according to the AP.

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