“This is not a time to curl up, give up or shut up,” Booker wrote. “It is time to get up; to stand up, to speak words that heal, help, and recommit to the cause of our country.”
In a historic move, Booker recently testified against Trump’s nominee for attorney general, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.). Booker became the first sitting senator to testify at a confirmation hearing against another senator. Many speculated Booker’s decision to testify against Sessions could have been a first move toward a potential 2020 presidential bid.
“We had an election defeat, but we are not defeated,” Booker wrote. “We hurt, we fear, we may even regret that we did not do more. But character is not defined, forged or built in good times. The fire of adversity forges our steel.”
Booker said he would not join the nearly 60 Democratic lawmakers who will boycott Trump’s inauguration Friday. These Democrats are breaking with tradition after a divisive election. Many made the decision following Trump’s attacks on Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), after Lewis said he does not believe Trump is a “legitimate president.”
Booker will attend the inauguration, along with other Democratic colleagues, President Obama and Trump’s Democratic challenger Hillary Clinton.