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November 13, 2016

Cory Booker weighs in on protesters, what's next for Democratic Party

Most Democrats, reeling after Hillary Clinton's defeat, are searching for answers as Republicans seized control of the Oval Office and Congress. But one local politician went on the political talk show circuit with an eye on what's next for the party

Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey appeared Sunday morning on NBC's "Meet the Press" to offer his take on the aftermath of the 2016 Presidential Election.

First, Booker addressed how he interpreted Tuesday's results that saw President-elect Donald Trump win the electoral college despite losing the popular vote.

"The message to both parties should be right now that we need to find ways to work together to speak to the American public," Booker told host Chuck Todd. "This is an election like I've never seen before. And I think it reflects the fact that many people have a dissatisfaction with politics as usual."

House Speaker Paul Ryan and other GOP leaders, however, have claimed that Trump has earned a mandate as Republicans maintained control of Congress.

Meanwhile, tens of thousands of people nationwide have protested Trump's victory in peaceful demonstrations, including here in Philadelphia.

Booker recognized the rights of the protesters to affect change  but warned against turning to hateful speech.

"When you have a president in his campaign who ran saying things that not are just contrary to a fact, but literally threatening to use presidential power in a way that would erode the rights and privileges and equality of large sections of Americans, God bless the protestors," Booker said. "But I will tell you this. I caution anyone who in their protest becomes the very thing that they're protesting against."

Booker also urged that the Democratic National Committee needed to be led by a "committed progressive" going forward.

While Trump is president, that person "need[s] to be someone that, in this time where there's a vacuum of leadership, that will join others, the committed resistance, and stand in the breach," Booker said.

Booker assumed office in 2013.