Video of Cory Booker Teasing GOP Senator Over 'Defund the Police' Goes Viral

Senator Cory Booker gave a brief but lively endorsement on the Senate floor of a proposal about defunding the police in a video that has gone viral on social media.

The New Jersey Democrat was animated on Tuesday when he teased Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL), whose amendment to the Democrats' 2022 budget resolution would cut federal funding to local governments that defund law enforcement.

Some Democrats have distanced themselves from calls to "defund the police," an idea that gained traction among progressives following the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

"This is a gift," Cory Booker says in an animated speech praising Tommy Tuberville's non-binding amendment to punish localities that defund the police.

"I am sure I will see no political ads attacking anybody here over defund the police."

It passed 99-0, all Dems voted for it.

— Andrew Solender (@AndrewSolender) August 11, 2021

On the Senate floor, Tuberville said four-fifths of law enforcement across the country was conducted by local and state police departments, adding: "Local leaders across the country have decided the woke thing to do is cancel their city's police force."

He said taxpayers in his state should not have "to pick up the tab for the local leaders in Oregon and Minnesota who value the woke 'defund the police' movement over their own community's safety."

After Tuberville sat down, Booker added a jolt of energy to proceedings with a light-hearted riff on how the GOP portrays the Democrats' stance on law enforcement and some gentle mockery of the Alabama lawmaker.

"Madam President, I am so excited," said Booker as he clapped his hands together. "This is a gift. If it wasn't a complete abdication of Senate procedures … I would walk over there and hug my colleague from Alabama."

In a swipe at those who paint Democrats as anti-law enforcement, Booker said: "There are some people who've said that there are members of this deliberative body that want to defund the police— to my horror.

"This senator has given us the gift of finally, once and for all, we can put to bed this scurrilous accusation that somebody in this great esteemed body would want to defund the police."

He then urged his fellow senators to "sashay" down to vote for Tuberville's non-binding amendment, which will "put to rest the lies." He added that he was "sure I will see no political ads attacking anybody here over defund the police."

Booker continued: "I would ask unanimous consent to add something else to this obvious bill. Can we add also that every senator here wants to defund the police, believes in God, country and apple pie?"

Video of Booker's speech, which lasted just over a minute, has been widely viewed on Twitter. Early on Wednesday morning, it had been watched more than 430,000 times on one account and just over 100,000 times on another.

After the amendment passed 99 to zero, Tuberville claimed victory on Twitter, writing: "Senate Democrats pounce at chance to distance themselves from 'defund police' rhetoric."

Newsweek has contacted Tuberville's office for comment.

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) at the Capitol
Sen. Corey Booker at the U.S. Capitol on August 10. The New Jersey lawmaker gently mocked a GOP senator for trying to paint Democrats as anti-law enforcement. Samuel Corum/Getty