CNN's Alina Cho "loves" that Democratic Newark Mayor Cory Booker is living on food stamps for a week and gushed about it with Soledad O'Brien on Monday's Starting Point.
"I love this story. And I know you do, too, Soledad," fawned Cho. "I do, too, because mostly I thought – I've never really thought about how much money people who are on food stamps actually get," O'Brien chipped in. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Booker will have $33 to buy food for the week, which as Cho reported is the "average weekly food stamp benefit" in New Jersey.
Speaking of food stamps, last January O'Brien laughably claimed that President Bush was more of a "food stamp president" than President Obama, even though the number of Americans on food stamps increased under Obama and reached an all-time high during his presidency. The percentage of the populace on food stamps also jumped during Obama's first term.
A transcript of the segment, which aired on Starting Point on December 3 at 8:34 a.m. EST, is as follows:
ALINA CHO, CNN anchor: And the mayor of Newark, New Jersey, is taking the food stamp challenge. Yes, that's right, we're talking about Cory Booker. He will only be eating what he can afford to buy this week, and he'll have just $33 to work with. That's the average weekly food stamp benefit in his state per day. Booker is already tweeting that he will be giving up coffee because he won't be able to afford it. I love this story. And I know you do, too, Soledad.
SOLEDAD O'BRIEN: I do, too, because mostly I thought – I've never really thought about how much money people who are on food stamps actually get. And then how do they navigate their way through buying. When he started tweeting about it, and I follow him on Twitter, I started thinking, I never really thought about how do you feed a family on a certain amount of money. It will be an interesting experiment. And I think it'll really be insightful for people who fortunately don't have to deal with that issue and we'll learn a lot.