Obama campaign: We didn't ask for Booker video
May 21st, 2012
03:19 PM ET
3 years ago

Obama campaign: We didn't ask for Booker video

(CNN) – President Barack Obama's campaign spokesman said Monday that neither the president's campaign nor the White House asked Newark, New Jersey Mayor Cory Booker to produce a web video clarifying his take on a spate of recent campaign attack ads.

Ben LaBolt was asked by CNN's Brooke Baldwin if the campaign requested the Booker backtrack.

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"We did not. These are his own views in the video. He made absolutely clear that the discussion of Mitt Romney's private sector tenure was legitimate," LaBolt said.

LaBolt later added, "He released that video of his own volition. We did not ask him to do so."

Booker released the YouTube clip on Sunday after appearing to chastise fellow Democrats on NBC's "Meet the Press."

"I'm not going to sit here and indict private equity. To me we're getting to a ridiculous point in America," Booker said on NBC. "If you look at the totality of Bain Capital's record, they've done a lot to support businesses, to grow businesses, and this, to me, I'm very uncomfortable with."

In the video released later Sunday, Booker attempted to clarify his comments, saying Mitt Romney's tenure at Bain was fair game for political scrutiny. In his follow-up, Booker used almost identical language in justifying the Bain attacks as Obama's campaign staff.

"Let me be clear," Booker said. "Mitt Romney had made his business record a centerpiece of his campaign. He's talked about himself as a job creator. 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."

Uproar over Booker's comments was fueled Monday by a web video from Romney's campaign, which used Booker's "Meet the Press" appearance to make it seem like attacks on Bain from Democrats were backfiring.

The video also used clips of former Democratic Tennessee Rep. Harold Ford and former Obama administration official Steven Rattner to paint Democrats as split on the effectiveness of the Bain attack ads.

In defending the Bain assault, LaBolt emphasized Democrats were not trying to vilify the entire private equity industry.

"We're not questioning the private equity industry as a whole," LaBolt said. "We're questioning what lessons and values Mitt Romney took from that experience and whether that's the economic philosophy you would like to see in the Oval Office."

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Filed under: 2012 • Cory Booker • Mitt Romney • President Obama
soundoff (47 Responses)
  1. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    It was nice for him to clarify. I can see Booker kicking himself after MTP. He should have said that clear record of what Romney did during his time as the head of Bain Capital. My question is why hasn't the media outlets done this already. It shouldn't be that hard to get that information.

    May 21, 2012 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  2. !ST SGT

    As usual the liar has spoke up again. Believe in him and you are a loser whether he wins or loses the election. He is a destroyer not a builder.

    May 21, 2012 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  3. The REAL Truth...

    Why would the Obama campaign ask for the Booker video anyway? The Grand Obstructionist Party doesn't need any help in managing to self-destruction. From Mitten's as a candidate, their war on women, the total lack of separation of church and state, their lack of family values (unless you follow their cultist viewpoint), their focus on cost cutting (but pass a defense bill that is 6% higher than last year) and of course the continued filibustering and congressional grandstanding. The party of "NO!" has no candidate, no policies, no platform, no compromise and no chance in Nov.

    May 21, 2012 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  4. Obama 2012 - BEND Forward America, take another 4 long years of FAILURE

    Yeah, right. The Chicago Obama union thugs paid him a visit to discuss it and ensure there was no misunderstanding. Are his knees still intact?

    We have Chicago gangsters running the country now. Express your opinion and pay the price, even if you're one of them.

    May 21, 2012 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  5. jefflz

    Booker is an ignorant fool. There is an enormous difference between those venture capitalists who have helped to launch new high tech, biomedical and other innovative companies compared to the Romney/Bain vulture capitalist approach which operates on a smash-and-grab business model with tax payer support. Romney deserves every bit of criticism that can be mustered for his actions. These action speak worlds about the nature of his defective character.

    May 21, 2012 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  6. Valentina

    Obama and his campaign have become desperate and pathetic. Sad, very sad. Romney will win in a landslide in November.

    May 21, 2012 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  7. Charles L

    Bend forward. You're so full of hate. That anything anyone says you resort to calling them names. I know CNN will not post this, but I had to say it.

    May 21, 2012 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  8. SaltwithFOOT

    Booker has spoke too soon. When the general campaigning starts, it is going to get ugly as hell from both sides. If he thinks the GOP is going to take any cues from him, he is really dreaming.

    May 21, 2012 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  9. Woman In California

    BAIN IS FAIR GAME and I urge the Obama campaign to continue digging into Willard's history and what role he actually played in providing those 100,000 jobs he LIED about (even though he has since changed his story).

    On the other hand this Booker guy did absolutely nothing to change my mind or suggest to me he is in any way fit for prime time.

    May 21, 2012 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  10. Jen

    Cory Booker was a complete disappointment in his remarks on Sunday. Romney's time as heading Bain Capital are facts and not a character assassination. We did not hear about his Booker's "nauseation" when people made very offensive comments about the President e.g. holding up signs calling President Obama a monkey and other disgusting comments, the continuous questioning of his birth certificate and the list goes on. There is so much at stake in this election and the middle class is under attack by the conservative party. Without President obama at the Helm for the next 4 years we are doomed. Just donated the maximum amount to President Obama,s campain and will give to any financial pact that supports out president, thanks to Booker's "loyalty to liberal values". My opinion of Cory Booker has changed and I will remember that when he runs for any election in the future.

    May 21, 2012 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  11. Expat American

    Valentina – you are fortunate enough to be at the very least a multi-millionaire. Congratulations on your financial success.
    If you are not at the very least a multi-millionaire; then surely you must understand that the GOP and Mitt Romney care nothing for you.

    May 21, 2012 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  12. Obama 2012 - BEND Forward America, take another 4 long years of FAILURE

    I knew there was something I liked about Cory Booker even before this episode. He really puts an effort into what he does. The guy isn't afraid to get his hands dirty with doing the real work like helpg to shovel walkways, even to the point of running into a burning building to save a neighbor. We need more down to earth politicians like him. He's no BS'er. Keep telling it like it is Cory Booker!! Between Cory Booker and Chris Cristie, NJ is getting some great people in office. Things in the state are starting to look up!

    May 21, 2012 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  13. Dee

    ""Let me be clear," Booker said. "Mitt Romney had made his business record a centerpiece of his campaign. He's talked about himself as a job creator. 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."

    and @Valentina.. in your dreams! OBAMA is taking this! we have atleast 294 electorals in the bag!

    May 21, 2012 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  14. Bob

    It is absolutely fair game to go after Bain. It's ridiculous to think otherwise.

    May 21, 2012 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  15. Obama 2012 - BEND Forward America, take another 4 long years of FAILURE

    Bob – It is absolutely fair game to go after Bain. It's ridiculous to think otherwise.
    ==========================================================
    Obama sat in front of anti-American, anti-white Rev. Wright for 20 years. Why isn't it fair to go after Obama for that? Obama has associated with a LOT of questionable far left radicals by his own admission. Why are all of these not "fair game"?

    May 21, 2012 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  16. Gurgyl

    Why not we ignore this idiot. This guy is another jeramiah wright in disguise.

    May 21, 2012 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  17. Anonymous

    Good to know that Wall Street is finally shutting down the Bain conversation.
    Can't have it any other way if Mittens intends on willing. Unfortunately for
    Wall Street (and corporate owned media) too many Americans HAVE been
    effected at one time or another by the very same Bain policy making decisions
    which have caused such chaos to our economy. Shutting down the
    conversation won't work. It never does.

    Oh, by the way ... HOW PEOPLE VOTE is the one thing
    Mitt Romney has no CONTROL over, try as he may to
    buy the Wall Street vote. Fairly sure Americans have
    had enough Wall Street forced down their throats to
    last them a lifetime and more.

    May 21, 2012 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  18. MR.AL

    Corey Booker's comment about his nausea!! Is it nauseating to loose your job because of Romney and Bain Capital? Romney claims to be a job creator? I see him as a greedy republican millionaire!! How about you Corey Booker? Are you a Democrat or not? I see dirty Politics!!

    May 21, 2012 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  19. anoel2005

    Mayor Cory Booker sounds and acts like a Republican.
    He should change Parties and denounce the :"Democrat Plantation".

    Democrats are destroying our once great nation.

    May 21, 2012 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  20. Bootstomper

    Romney another republican who says god told him to run for president. God told me Obama Biden in 2012. God also told me to buy another Porsche.

    May 21, 2012 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  21. CBR

    Mitt Romney touts his experience at Bain as part of his record. Of course that part of the Bain record is up for criticism as are any other Bain corporate ventures that pay Mr. Romney residuals.

    It is well know that there have been many pictures of the Obamas and many critiques which are in extremely bad taste. Unfortunately, those who do this and those who agree with them are not people whose words should be heard or noted. We are too willing to let these photos and drawings and statements pass muster. Shame on all of us for not standing up for what should be included in the media.

    May 21, 2012 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  22. The REAL Truth...

    @BEND Forward – Obama sat in front of anti-American, anti-white Rev. Wright for 20 years. Why isn't it fair to go after Obama for that? Obama has associated with a LOT of questionable far left radicals by his own admission. Why are all of these not "fair game"?
    ----------------------------–
    Well, well, for once we agree on something! Either it's ALL fair game for both sides – without whining or complaint – or certain area's are off limits. Since I doubt the latter will EVER go into effect, then Wright, Bain, records (and lack therof) and policies, and every other subject should be considered "fair game". Depends on how ugly you want it to get..

    May 21, 2012 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  23. Flipper Rmoney Failure Ahead

    Of course Rmoney's Bain history is fair game; he's the one who brought it up, along with all his mindless followers who think being a vulture capitalist somehow qualifies him to be president.

    May 21, 2012 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  24. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Corey Booker is young and still evolving in politics, just like President Obama has shown.

    May 21, 2012 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  25. Valentina

    @ Expat American – FYI: I came to this great country, the United State of America, when I was 15 years of age. Through personal responsibility and hard work I can say that I am in the upper middle class bracket. Since Obama and Democratic party are the people of government dependance, I do not anything in common with them and will not want to have anything to do with them. The GOP is it for me because of their emphasis on personal responsibility. Thus, I am all for Romney – he will make one excellent president, and remember I said.

    May 21, 2012 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
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