New presidential hopeful Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) on Friday defended his infamous “I am Spartacus” moment and called his theatrics during Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings last year “one of my prouder moments.”
He made those comments during an interview on ABC News’ “The View” on Friday — the same day he entered a crowded Democratic field and announced his 2020 presidential campaign. He chose “The View” for his first televised post-announcement interview.
Many Democratic senators and liberals activists last year immediately opposed the choice of Kavanaugh for the high court simply because he was conservative and the choice of President Donald Trump.
But Kavanaugh’s confirmation process went off the rails after women leveled last-minute sexual assault allegations against him — all of which he vehemently and consistently denied. The FBI investigated those claims and found nothing.
Booker made a spectacle of himself during Kavanaugh’s confirmation process. Republicans mocked him when he compared himself to Spartacus, the slave and Thracian gladiator who led a rebellion against the Roman Empire.
Conservative co-host Meghan McCain confronted Booker on Friday about the “Spartacus” moment. She noted that many of Booker’s critics don’t believe in his “authenticity.”
“I believe right now in this particular moment that authenticity is actually the most valuable political currency anyone can have,” McCain said to the former Newark mayor. “And you have gotten some criticism for grandstanding during your performance during televised hearings.”
McCain noted that “Saturday Night Live” “actually parodies you for this reason.”
“How do you convince people — especially on the Left — that you’re authentic and that you’re not a phony, especially during this time? And this isn’t just, you know, sort of a political stunt, if you will?” McCain asked.
Booker appeared taken aback.
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“You can’t speak to authenticity. No. You’ve just got to be who you are and there are going to be critics all the time,” Booker replied. “It’s about what you do. Let my works speak for me.”
But McCain pressed him on this.
“It’s a genuine question. And by the way, it’s criticism from the Left as well,” McCain said. “I understand what you’re saying about your record. But I do think there’s something to be said — when I think of you now, I think of, ‘I am Spartacus.’”
“And that, I don’t know, is the best reflection of you,” McCain told him.
Booker defended his theatrics — and accused Republicans of skewing his antics.
“I hope people go back and watch that whole clip, because even that was twisted,” Booker said. “And I hope you’ll go back and watch the Kavanaugh hearings. That was one of my prouder moments sticking up for people.”
Even so, Booker insisted that he is not going to run his campaign for the 2020 Democratic nomination by “tearing down other people.”
Check out more in the video below: