2020 Democratic candidate Cory Booker mixed up his fact checks on taking money from the pharmaceutical industry after being confronted by a young man at an event in South Carolina in August.
New Jersey Sen. Booker raised more money from Big Pharma in 2014 than any other senator, and has since stopped accepting money from them because of criticism, The Hill reported. He also faced criticism in 2017 after voting against a budget amendment to get drugs from overseas. Booker said that he supported the amendment to get drugs from abroad, but alleged that it wasn’t safe enough and revised the bill to add safety measures.
A young man confronted Booker at his event in South Carolina, explaining that his father has a thyroid condition that requires drugs, according to a YouTube video uploaded Tuesday. The man asked Booker how he could be trusted after Booker took over $300,000 in pharmaceutical money in 2014.
“God bless you and I thank you for asking the question because everything you said there is not true,” Booker replied. “Literally go to Politifact, this is the group from the Washington Post…there is so much of this mess out there on the internet, and it is not true. So look at Politifact, and literally google an article called The Stupid War on Cory Booker.”
Booker’s claim that “everything” the young man said is “not true” is false, as Booker himself said to “go to Politifact,” where a fact check article can be found that confirms Booker has taken over $300,000 in money from Big Pharma.
“The Stupid War on Cory Booker” that Booker references is a 2017 article written on Progress Pond that doesn’t appear to be tied into the Washington Post. It is not a fact check, either, but is an article explaining Booker’s vote against importing drugs.
The man pushed back at Booker’s response, saying that he “took $300,000 in PAC money from corporations.”
Booker then said that he was the fifth senator who said he “will not take any PAC money,” and the young man reminded Booker that he had done exactly that in 2014. Booker appeared to backtrack in his answer and alleged that he didn’t say he “didn’t take PAC money in the past,” despite having told the young man the opposite moments before.
“I’m not telling you that I didn’t take PAC money in the past. I’m telling you that in 2014, years before I was running for president, I stood up and said – called out to my whole Democratic caucus – and said ‘we’ve got to stop doing this,’” Booker said.
Booker’s campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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