Booker rolls out first TV ad during Democratic debate he's missing

Booker rolls out first TV ad during Democratic debate he's missing
© Greg Nash

Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerSenate Democrats demand answers on migrant child trafficking during pandemic Senate Democrats push to include free phone calls for incarcerated people in next relief package Ex-USAID employee apologizes, denies sending explosive tweets MORE (N.J.) will run his campaign's first television ad during the party's sixth primary debate on Thursday, for which the senator failed to qualify. 

"You're only gonna see this ad once because I'm not a billionaire," Booker says in it. "I won't be on tonight's debate stage, but that's OK because I'm going to win this election anyway. This election isn't about who can spend the most, or who slings the most mud."

"It's about the people. It's about all of us, standing together, fighting together. Not just to beat Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpJoe Arpaio loses bid for his old position as sheriff Trump brushes off view that Russia denigrating Biden: 'Nobody's been tougher on Russia than I have' Trump tees up executive orders on economy but won't sign yet MORE, but to bring about the transformative change we need," he continues. 

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The ad, which is titled "Together," is slated to run during the debate in 22 media markets, including in the early voting states of Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina. 

Booker has struggled to gain traction in the crowded primary field, often polling in single digits in state and national polls. He did not qualify for Thursday's Democratic debate as a result of not meeting the Democratic National Committee's (DNC) polling thresholds. 

In order to have qualified for the debate, candidates had to bring in the support of at least 200,000 unique donors and register at least 4 percent support in four qualifying polls or at least 6 percent support in two approved polls in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada or South Carolina. 

The senator has criticized the DNC's criteria for the debates and led eight other presidential candidates in a letter urging the committee to "consider alternative debate qualification standards" for four primary debates scheduled to take place in January and February.