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Field Thins: Former Candidate Doubts Process, Has Confidence In Voters

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Tuesday, January 14, 2020   

CONCORD, N.H. -- Ahead of a debate tonight, the Democratic presidential field has been rapidly thinning. But even former candidates are voicing renewed faith.

New Jersey Senator Cory Booker suspended his campaign on Monday. And spiritual advice author Marianne Williamson dropped out last week. Neither qualified for tonight's debate in Iowa.

In a long interview with Public News Service and 2020 Talks, Williamson was critical of what she called the "campaign industrial complex" and the money in politics she said is "eating our democracy." But she also said she found faith in the voters.

"The material system is even more corrupt than I knew, but the American people are even more wonderful than I knew," Williamson said. "I think the American people are really smart. It is the best place we could be looking to for guidance."

Both Booker and Williamson have been stuck below 2% in most polls. Only six candidates have polling and contribution numbers high enough to qualify for the debate stage this time.

Williamson maintained her criticism of what she called a corporate aristocracy in control of much of the economy. And she took issue with the way candidates are blocked from the debates - describing it as political insiders protecting their power, counter to America's radical democratic traditions.

But she had high praise for the early primary states and the way they conduct politics.

"It's very clear here in Iowa, it's very clear in New Hampshire, that people in these early primary states take their responsibility very, very seriously," she said. "They realize how consequential their decision is. And that's why it's been such an honor to participate in this process."

For his part, Booker also has been critical of the debate selection process. But on Monday he put out a video statement saying he "can't wait to get back on the campaign trail" to support the eventual nominee.

The Iowa Caucuses will be held February 3. The New Hampshire primary will follow eight days later.


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