2012 Election | Barack Obama | Cory Booker | Mitt Romney | News

As Obama Team Releases New Bain Attack, Cory Booker Walks Back 'Nauseating' Critique: VIDEO

CoryBookerBain

President Obama's reelection team has made it clear it intends on turning rival Mitt Romney's time at Bain Capital into a major campaign issue. To that end, last week they released an ad highlight Romney's role in the shutdown of a steel factory in Kansas City. And today they released another, this time about a Bain subsidiary's dismantlement of an Indiana paper plant.

All of this made it especially awkward, then, when Newark mayor and Obama surrogate Cory Booker called such attacks "nauseating" on Meet The Press yesterday.

"[F]rom a very personal level, I'm not about to sit here and indict private equity," the mayor said. "This kind of stuff is nauseating to me on both sides. It’s nauseating to the American Public. Enough is enough. Stop criticizing Bain Capital. Stop criticizing Jeremiah Wright."

It didn't take long, however, for Booker, most likely at the request of the Obama campaign, to walk back his remarks in a new YouTube video.

"Let me be clear: Mitt Romney has made his business record a centerpiece of his campaign. He's talked about himself as a job creator," Booker explained. "And therefore it is reasonable -- and in fact I encourage it -- for the Obama campaign to examine that record and discuss it. I have no problem with that."

He went on: "In fact, I believe that Mitt Romney, in many ways, is not being completely honest with his role and his record even while a businessperson, and is shaping it to serve his political interest -- and not necessary include all the facts of his time there."

Romney is calling the Bain angle "an attack on free enterprise."

Watch the Obama team's Bain Capital videos, a bit of Booker's original comment and his elaboration, AFTER THE JUMP.

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Comments

  1. Cory Booker is a nice, ethical guy in many ways but I wish he'd studied Romney's history before he made his remark. Politicians ought to do that before impulsively speaking out.

    Posted by: yonquersconquers | May 21, 2012 11:04:33 AM


  2. Booker obviously is either clueless or looking to bank some campaign contributions. The issue is about vulture private equity companies coming in buying up a struggling company, loading it up with debt (thus screwing the original debt holders), milking the government for subsidies, yanking the money out and then declaring bankruptcy and firing everyone. Is this the kind of person we want to lead our country?

    Posted by: Joey | May 21, 2012 11:09:50 AM


  3. I think some handsome bald guy from Newark is thinking about running against pissy Christie in 2 years. In New Jersey Democrats and Republicans like to come together to make political love. Yuck!!!

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | May 21, 2012 11:23:59 AM


  4. I admired his comments when he first said them.

    Bain Capital, Jeremiah Wright. Who cares. They're stupid side issues that have no importance at the end of the day.

    BUT, now he backtracks.

    Typical politician. Disappointing.

    Posted by: Andrew | May 21, 2012 11:31:26 AM


  5. Other articles about this make clear that Booker has courted the financial industry and is dependent upon them for campaign funds. It's expected he will run either for governor of NJ or (more likely) a Senate seat in the next couple of years and wants to keep that support.

    I like Cory Booker a lot, particularly for his passionate statements about marriage equality, but believe he's compromising his values to his political aspirations here by giving a blanket pardon to the financial industry when sectors of it have leeched off the economy and created many of the current problems. As the speaker in the TED speech (recently posted here) said, if tax breaks and a deferential attitude toward the financial industry really "created jobs," we'd see tons of job opportunities by now. That we haven't seen them means that whole claim is nothing but self-serving hogwash from the GOP, Mitt Romney, and those like him.

    Posted by: Caliban | May 21, 2012 11:38:02 AM


  6. I have been dreaming of a 2016 Hillary/Cory ticket. I have no love for GALL STREET, and I will only trust them after there are a few more Wall Street insider's are sitting inside prison with numbers on their chest. Today no one bats a thousand, and everything you ever said is part of your political DNA. However, after seeing the hate and bigoted tone of the Republicans in this year's primary season... I will work hard to get "MY" president reelected in 2012, and still dream of a Clinton/Booker ticket in 2016.

    Posted by: jerry Pritikin | May 21, 2012 11:42:32 AM


  7. Andrew, if a candidate is running on his "business experience" as a cornerstone of his campaign, it is not a "side issue." Obama is not running on his past church affiliations. Booker completely lost me with this gaffe. He revealed his lack of insight and nuance, and malleability for political positioning.

    Posted by: Jeff Kurtti | May 21, 2012 11:43:43 AM


  8. if Booker thinks the sociopathic bain company is a-ok, NJ may just want to nip his political career in the bud. yikes.

    Posted by: R | May 21, 2012 11:47:28 AM


  9. Booker is an elitist and has a lot of friends, donors and supporters in the one percent. He likes to play the part of the "common man" or populist, but that is not his background, nor is it really where his loyalties reside. He's building an image of being someone and something he really isn't, all for personal ambition.

    I really don't trust Cory Booker and people need to do some research on his background to get a clearer picture of what he's really all about. Those folks at Bain Capital and in the suites of Wall Street's financial frauds and robber barons count Booker as a personal friend and have provided most of his so called "love money". Like Deep Throat said, follow the money. No man can serve two masters and Cory's masters sip vintage wine and single malt Scotch in crystal glasses, not Budweiser or Malt Liquor from a can.

    Posted by: Bob R | May 21, 2012 12:10:20 PM


  10. Gay jurno Steve Kornaki has a brilliant take down of Booker at Salon.com http://www.salon.com/2012/05/21/booker_in_retreat/singleton/

    Posted by: ggreen | May 21, 2012 12:22:48 PM


  11. I was very dissappointed to hear Cory Bookers comments on MTP.
    This moral equivalency of the GOP race baiting and the DEMS use of Bain by Booker shows how hungry he is for Wall Street money to fill his election coffers and how easy it was for him to sell out.
    I thought he had a good shot for NJ gov or Senator and still wish him well but this just shows he had his own political ambition in the forefront.
    Sad to watch.

    Posted by: MCnNYC | May 21, 2012 12:25:02 PM


  12. http://www.salon.com/2012/05/20/cory_booker_surrogate_from_hell/

    Posted by: ggreen | May 21, 2012 12:25:46 PM


  13. Booker got it right the first time. I'm really sorry to see him capitulate. The Obama campaign needs to cut this phony populist crap and stick with the issues: the economy, the economy, the economy. What Romney did with Bain Capital then does not a campaign issue make now. Choose your villains wisely, Mr. Obama. Otherwise, you'll lose this election. And, all of us will lose. Like I keep saying, get your passports ready, boys. You may need them after the November elections.

    Posted by: jamal49 | May 21, 2012 2:17:28 PM


  14. Liberals lack the political discipline of the GOP. That's why we are so good at snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. That's why the religious right nutcases are overrepresented in our government at all levels. He ought to have temporarily subordinated his own political ambitions for the good of Obama's re-election campaign.

    Posted by: candide001 | May 21, 2012 2:42:31 PM


  15. Jeff, Romney left Bain 2 years before those workers lost there jobs. What is Obama going to run on, accusing Romney of bullying 50 yrs ago and evolving on gay marriage. The Obama team should run on what Obama has done if they think he deserves another 4 yrs.

    Posted by: Name: | May 21, 2012 3:21:07 PM


  16. I'm quite surprised by the lack of balance in these comments. I agree with Booker on this one. The ads are not suggesting that Romney did anything especially unusual in these deals -- they are really a broader indictment on the private equity industry.

    Yes, private equity often causes job losses. While these are unpleasant, they are often necessary for "creative destruction" to occur. In addition, the ads do not even attempt to account for the financial condition of these companies before they were purchased; it is highly possible that bankruptcy was inevitable. While I understand that these ads probably appeal to certain demographics (i.e. working class whites), I am concerned that they will alienate educated voters, whom Obama really needs for support.

    Posted by: Daniel | May 21, 2012 3:24:13 PM


  17. Romney is a Vampire in Mormon Clothing… under his leadership, Bain gutted companies, sucking them dry and leaving families in shambles without work or a means to provide for their children. Is this the type of leader we want? Read more about the role of Romney’s dirty money in this election and the power of his sacred undergarments at http://dregstudiosart.blogspot.com/2012/05/mitt-romneys-magic-mormon-underwear.html

    Posted by: Brandt Hardin | May 21, 2012 4:24:26 PM


  18. If you take away his years at Bain and his miserable job creating jobs as Governor of Massachusettes--then what hell can Willard point to as his experience? Canine care?

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | May 21, 2012 4:34:31 PM


  19. I like Cory Booker, but he, along with Harold Ford Jr, are part of a clique that receives a lot of funding from Wall St sources. Newark is a headquarters for a lot of financial service companies, so it's not surprising that he's "nauseated" that the Obama campaign is targeting his largest donors. There is already a commercial out by the Romney campaign using Booker and Ford's words against them. If Booker couldn't fully be on board as an Obama surrogate, then he should've bowed out rather than undercutting the message.

    Romney is hanging is whole campaign on being a businessman who created jobs. Why can't we examine this record to see if this is true? Like others have said, Democrats and liberals often can be their own worst enemies. We want our politicians to fight with their hands tied behind their backs while the conservatives fight with brass knuckles, chains and knives hidden in their boots. That's, of course, after they've already bribed the judges.

    Posted by: Isaac | May 21, 2012 7:34:53 PM


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