When Cory Booker Went to Dinner With Ted Cruz

Booker talks to Colbert about senatorial love

The title of Sen. Cory Booker‘s new book is United, and when the senator from New Jersey appeared on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert last night to promote the book, he discussed the idea of trying to love, rather than merely tolerate, others as a way to advance as a nation.

Colbert wanted to know about Booker’s love for a specific societal subset, that of senators running for president.

“Where is the love in the Senate?” Colbert asked. “Who can you share your love with? Let’s talk about some of the people who are running for president right now. … Because some people say, they’re like, ‘Donald Trump keeps accusing Ted Cruz of having nobody who’ll work with him.’ Have you worked with Ted Cruz?”

“We have,” said Booker. “We’ve introduced legislation. We passed some legislation together.”

Booker continued with a classic trope, that of the portrait of political polarization looking very different from the other side of the curtain.

“I got some great advice from a former senator named Bill Bradley, [who] said, ‘Don’t pre-judge the people that you’re with. Take time to get to know them, sit with them.’ And a lot of the Republican senators showed me extraordinary kindness in sitting with me, working with me,” said Booker.

But there are limits to that relationship:

You know, I went out to dinner with Ted Cruz, I asked him out to dinner based on that ‘you and I can find some common ground,’ and it was funny, people would literally walk past our table and stop and do a double-take and then say fantastical things, like they would come up to us and say “this is the presidential ticket in 2020.” And I would look at them and say, “no way.”

See the full interview below.