Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerRand Paul introduces bill to end no-knock warrants Black lawmakers unveil bill to remove Confederate statues from Capitol Harris grapples with defund the police movement amid veep talk MORE (D-N.J.) said hours after suspending his presidential campaign that diversity and the perception of fairness will be “critically important” for Democrats running in the 2020 primary now that the only top contenders remaining are white. 

“Well, I want to remind — and you know this — that we are a party that will succeed by not how much we can put down the people who aren’t voting for us but how much we can inspire the people that will — want to vote for us but often don’t come out,” Booker told MSNBC’s Rachel MaddowRachel Anne MaddowWebb: The modern age of dissent versus riot Cable news audience numbers jump amid coronavirus, protests Demings: ‘America is on fire’ and Trump ‘is walking around with gasoline’ MORE late Monday. “And the short way of saying that is, African American voters alone, if the same amount who voted in 2016 that voted in 2012, it would be President Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonWhite House accuses Biden of pushing ‘conspiracy theories’ with Trump election claim Biden courts younger voters — who have been a weakness Trayvon Martin’s mother Sybrina Fulton qualifies to run for county commissioner in Florida MORE right now.”

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He added that not having an African American candidate who “can speak to that lived experience, that can inspire that populace could end up being a disaster for us.”

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“So, whoever it is, diversity is critically important, and a perception of fairness,” Booker said.

Booker also pointed to his Senate colleague, Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisRand Paul introduces bill to end no-knock warrants The Hill’s Campaign Report: Biden campaign goes on offensive against Facebook McEnany says Juneteenth is a very ‘meaningful’ day to Trump MORE (D-Calif.) who ended her own Democratic presidential bid in December over a lack of financial resources. 

“I remember when Kamala Harris dropped out, women in my life were telling me how much they felt offended that someone with such a record that she had couldn’t make it to Iowa because at the end of the day, she ran out of money,” Booker said. “So, this is something we have to understand, that we have to inspire record black and brown turnouts.”

The New Jersey Democrat said he will do whatever he can to support the eventual nominee, but will turn his own campaign efforts toward running for reelection in the Senate.

“I’m going to be doing everything I can for people all over this country, because I will run myself ragged because we have to get everyone out,” Booker said. “This is not about those 60 million Americans that voted for Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE. This is about the tens of millions of Americans who didn’t vote at all who would be with us if we could just inspire them to the polls.”

Booker’s decision to end his presidential campaign means that there is only one African American left in the race, former Massachusetts Gov. Deval PatrickDeval PatrickIt’s as if a Trump operative infiltrated the Democratic primary process Top Democratic super PACs team up to boost Biden Andrew Yang endorses Biden in 2020 race MORE, who is considered a long shot for the Democratic nomination.

Andrew YangAndrew YangGeorge Floyd protests show corporations must support racial and economic equality Andrew Yang discusses his universal basic income pilot program Andrew Yang on the George Floyd protests in Minneapolis MORE, a tech businessman running for the Democratic nomination, was the only candidate of color to appear onstage during December’s debate but has not qualified for Tuesday’s debate in Des Moines, Iowa, which features a lineup of white candidates.

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