Continetti: Cory Booker's Spartacus Moment Comes to an End

January 13, 2020

Washington Free Beacon founding editor Matthew Continetti on Monday responded to the news of Sen. Cory Booker (D., N.J.) ending his presidential campaign as not being the senator's "Spartacus moment."

"This is not Cory Booker's 'Spartacus moment' like he had during the Kavanaugh hearings," Continetti said on Fox News's America's Newsroom.

Booker announced the end of his presidential campaign with a video message to supporters.

Continetti added that Booker's campaign focus on positivity and uplift fell flat among Democratic voters.

"What's notable about this is Cory Booker was selling uplift. He was selling a positive message about American unity. And I think it's clear that that's not what Democratic voters are interested in this time. They either want to beat Trump, which is the faction of the party that's supporting Biden, or they want someone who wants big structural change and isn't afraid to talk about it, and that's Sanders," Continetti said. "The candidate of positivity, optimism, and unity just couldn't make it."

"Spartacus moment" is a reference to Booker daring his colleagues to charge him with violating Senate rules over his behavior during the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. He released an email Kavanaugh sent when he was a lawyer in the George W. Bush White House, in violation of official rules, and compared himself to Spartacus, who led a Roman slave revolt.

"This is about the closest I'll probably ever have in my life to an 'I am Spartacus' moment," he said.

In Stanley Kubrick's 1960 film Spartacus, a famous scene shows the slaves Spartacus led refusing to give up their leader, as each one tells the Roman authorities, "I am Spartacus."