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.