Politics & Policy

Cory Booker: ‘Why Are Other Countries Out-Americaning Us?’

Senator Cory Booker (D, N.J.) speaks with reporters on the way to the Senate floor on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., October 3, 2018. (Aaron P. Bernstein/Reuters)

Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey suggested Thursday that Canada and other nations have been more successful in living up to American ideals than America itself.

“Every country we are competing with is driving down the cost of college,” Booker said while addressing students at Allen University in South Carolina. “Germany – it cost between 0 and 4 percent of median income to go to college. Canada – I can’t stand how they’re out Americaning us in Canada. Trudeau? Give me a break. It costs about 6 to 7 percent median income to go to college.”

The 2020 presidential hopeful went on to insinuate that government investment across various sectors constitutes the fulfillment of America’s founding ideals.

“What does it cost in America? Fifty-two percent of median income. And why are other nations out Americaning us?” he asked.“Why are they out-investing infrastructure the way we used to? Why are they out-investing in research and development the way we used to? Why are they out-investing in education the way we used to? Why are they doing universal preschool and we’re not? Why are they doing paid family leave and we’re not?”

The World Economic Forum named the U.S. as the most economically competitive country in the world in a report released Tuesday. The report, which analyzed the set of institutions, policies and factors that determine the level of productivity of a country,” ranked Singapore, Germany, Switzerland, and Japan behind the U.S.

Booker, who’s spent two days traveling around South Carolina, has visited three of the four key early-voting states as he prepares for an expected 2020 presidential run. He plans to visit the fourth — New Hampshire — later this month. While he has all but announced his run — even saying it would be “irresponsible not to consider a bid — Booker said he won’t make any final decisions with respect to 2020 until after next month’s midterms.

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