Cory Booker Says Food Stamps Are Not a Government Handout

After living off food stamps himself, the Newark mayor empathizes with those dependent on program

Cory Booker’s Week on Food Stamps: Political Ambition Amid the Burned Sweet Potatoes (Yahoo! News)

Cory Booker has been known to run into burning buildings to save his constituents. But last Thursday, the Newark, N.J., mayor's biggest challenge was whether or not he could get through a single meeting without taking a nibble of one Christmas cookie.

Booker, 43, and a rising star Democrat, has been living on just $33 of food over the last week as part of an effort to understand the plight of Americans who struggle to live on food stamps. The experiment ends Tuesday.

Booker has said he's trying to raise public awareness about the struggles of average Americans amid threats of federal funding cuts to food stamp programs around the nation. But the mayor's very public campaign comes as Booker mulls a challenge to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie in next year's gubernatorial race.

"I am absolutely considering running for governor, as well as giving other options some consideration." Booker told CBS's "Face the Nation" on Sunday, adding that he'll make a decision in the next two weeks. He may also run for the U.S. Senate seat expected to be vacated by Democrat Frank Lautenberg in 2014.

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