Cory Booker calls out Amazon, Halliburton in Democratic primary debate

Sen. Cory Booker called out Amazon and Halliburton during Wednesday’s first Democratic primary debate, accusing them of paying "nothing in taxes."

The New Jersey lawmaker took aim at the businesses after being asked about Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s proposal to break up big technology companies. "Today" co-host and debate moderator Savannah Guthrie pressed Booker on why he has previously said that he “didn’t think it was right to name names” and single companies out.

“I will single out companies like Halliburton or Amazon that pay nothing in taxes, and our need to change that,” he replied.

For the second year in a row, Amazon paid zero dollars in federal income tax. The company earned a record $11.2 billion in U.S. profits, according to the company’s U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing in February, yet did not pay the 21 percent U.S. corporate tax, leveraging unspecified tax credits and stock-based compensation deductions. Instead, Amazon received a federal income tax rebate of $129 million.

Information on Halliburton's 2018 federal income taxes was not immediately available.

Booker went on to lay out his plan on how to enforce anti-trust laws if he’s elected president, saying he'd appoint judges and put together a Department of Justice and a Federal Trade Commission that will "check this kind of corporate concentration."


“At the end of the day, we have too much of a problem with corporate power growing,” he said. “It’s about time that we have a president that fights for the people in this country who need to have someone that’s a champion for them.”

Fox Business' Megan Henney contributed to this report.