Axelrod chides Booker for defending Romney
May 21st, 2012
02:50 PM ET
6 years ago

Axelrod chides Booker for defending Romney

(CNN) - David Axelrod, the president's senior campaign strategist, scorned fellow Democrat and Obama supporter Cory Booker after the Newark mayor defended Mitt Romney this weekend.

"In this particular instance, he was just wrong" Axelrod said Monday in an interview with MSNBC.

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Following a week of intense attacks from Obama's team over Romney's former private equity firm, Bain Capital, Booker on Sunday described the criticism as "nauseating" and called for an end to negative campaigning. The mayor also referenced scrutiny of Bain from some within Romney's own party.

"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," Booker said on NBC's "Meet the Press."

Shortly after his interview, however, the rising Democratic star released a web video walking back his remarks and saying examination of Romney's corporate background was fair game.

"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," Booker said.

On Monday, Axelrod emphasized the mayor was "wrong" with his earlier comments. Asked if Booker was contacted by someone in the campaign or the White House over his original remarks, Axelrod said, "Well I think he probably heard from a lot of people who feel that it's a legitimate issue."

Axelrod said Romney frequently talks about his experience in the private sector and made the case that the firm should be a fair target in Romney's record.

"People admire success, they understand that business succeed and businesses fail, but what they don't like is when people at the top walk away with enormous riches and people down the line are left holding the bag," Axelrod said.

On Monday, Obama's campaign again went on the Bain offensive, releasing a new documentary-style video showcasing the stories of three workers laid off from Ampad, a paper plant that went bankrupt after being bought out by Bain.

Romney has repeatedly fended off jabs over Bain. Last week, he said Obama's campaign was committing "character assassination" and argued his former firm's job was to invest in companies and make them grow.

"There's this fiction that some have that somehow you can be highly successful by stripping assets from enterprise and walking away with lots of money and killing the enterprise. There may be some people who know how to do that. I sure don't," Romney said in Florida.

Bain also responded on Monday, releasing a statement decrying the recent ads and touting the firm's successes.

"Despite political attacks that emphasize the few companies that have struggled, the facts are that during Bain Capital's ownership, revenues grew in 80 percent of the more than 350 companies in which we have invested," the statement read.

Also see:

Political jabs are 'nauseating,' mayor says

Gingrich is millions in the hole

Boehner and Pelosi say they feel good heading into November

Axelrod: Fund-raising pitch cited Wright threat to combat super PACs

Filed under: 2012 • Cory Booker • David Axelrod • Mitt Romney • President Obama
soundoff (57 Responses)
  1. cali girl

    We need to get down to brass tax, cut the BS on both sides.
    The ads and talk of Robmey is just that, however, aside from that, you still have not told Americans what you plan to do for our people. You did say you agree with the Ryan plan, also known as the kill Medicare guy.

    May 21, 2012 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  2. obama victim

    do they get any sleazier than Axelrod??

    May 21, 2012 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  3. Obama 2012 - BEND Forward America, take another 4 long years of FAILURE

    Axelcrud is the sleaziest snake oil salesman out there. Booker was dead on accurate in his assessment but this dirtbag doesn't like being called out for what he is, nauseating. Anybody that believes a word of what this clown has to say needs their head examined.

    May 21, 2012 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  4. Anonymous

    Booker proved his ignorance by not recognizing that Rmoney is the one who first made Bain a campaign issue. The End.

    May 21, 2012 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  5. Gurgyl

    Just ignore that Booker, that guy is thinking smart, just ignore, stay focused and concentrate on defeating that Bain capital...

    May 21, 2012 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  6. Dean

    Booker is absolutely correct. Axelrod is a tool.

    May 21, 2012 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  7. California Conservative

    Obama killed Medicare when he took $500 Billion from it for ObamaCare.

    Good thing ObamaCare will be dead soon.

    May 21, 2012 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  8. Babyboomer

    I like Mayor Booker but he should have given his comments a little more thought before putting them out there to be used by President Obama's opponents against him. I don't believe in starting fights but I say when the fight comes to you then I say you mop the floor with whoever threw the first blow. At this point, I want to see President Obama fight back, hard... So, on this one I just can't agree with the Mayor...

    May 21, 2012 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  9. tired of the pandering

    i don't know about you, but this cheese ball looks just like hitler with his crusty lipped little stache and comb over hair,, look at hitler pictures then look at him,, looks alike and thinks alike

    May 21, 2012 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  10. Bill from GA

    Even when Bain creates a successful company, such as Office Depot, how many small-town office shops, and their suppliers, are put out of business? Replacing small business men/women for large corporate profits.

    Grant, that's the American way, Capitalism, etc. But it is NOT all good for the country.

    May 21, 2012 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  11. NoBama

    Wow sounds like the Obama goons gave him stern talking, (threats)

    May 21, 2012 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  12. megamimi

    I saw a glimmer of hope and change...a man of conscience speaking his mind without regard to the politics of change. But wait, the candle was quickly snuffed by the winds of toe-th-line and bend-your-arm or else. Good bye, small glimmering light of honest opinion. Hello, same old same old.

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

    The problem with Romney's rebuttal is this: even if he can point to Bain successes, he can't defend the fact that Bain planned to take some companies out. Which is legal. But morally unacceptable in a president. Also, look at the companies he touts: Staples, Dominos and Sports Authority. All minimum wage or low wage employers. And the failures? Higher wage, union jobs. Think about it. Do you want a president who cares if you keep working, who wants you to have a living wage, or a President who wants low wage McJobs and big corporate profits? I say let Mitt Romney go make money, and let Obama keep saving American jobs like the auto industry.

    May 21, 2012 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  14. sonny chapman

    "He's wrong". Wasn't that Cheney's famous retort to all who disagreed with him? Liberators, Last Throes, Pay for Itself, Dead Ender's, Muscular Foreign Policy, etc.

    May 21, 2012 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  15. Bill from GA

    And that part about stopping the ad focusing on Obama and Rev. Wright, maybe the Romney camp ended it because they didn't want Romney's religious ties examined too closely.

    May 21, 2012 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  16. steve

    Can we just get rid of the BS and all the negative ads. If anyone wants my vote I wish they would tell me what they have done and I will make my decision from that and not all the negativity we keep hearing

    May 21, 2012 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  17. Dave

    Romney would be a much better President than Obama. Obama campaigns against debt, and then increases it by $5 trillion in 3 1/2 years. This does not include the projections of Obamacare either (which will be double what was anticipated).

    May 21, 2012 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  18. Detada

    The Bain Capital ads are fair game, because Romney injected his employment with Bain as his claim to job creation. But, I find it interesting how voters are fed up with the lack of ethics and moral character of our politicians. The failure begins in their campaigns. Campaign ads are full of untruths and misrepresentations of the truth. There is no accountability that the ads be accurate. Political ads can say whatever they want. The truth is not a requirement. And people respond to the ads regardless of their accuracy. If we want to change to outcome, then we must demand change in the process. We should demand their campaign ads be true and accurate.

    May 21, 2012 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |

    I wonder what the Mayor was promised to put this out there – the VP position. The Dems who are supposed to be supporters of President Obama need to sit back, shut up and enjoy the ride. This is outrageous. If he does not win re-election, let it be because of something he said or did not something said by someone who is supposed to be helping him. With friends like this, who needs enemies.

    May 21, 2012 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  20. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    As I have been saying; we need a full accounting of what Bain Capital did while Romney was in charge. I don't understand why that is so hard. The other question about Bain Capital and Romney was did they solely worship the almighty profits that they made or did they look to keep jobs here in the US? If they didn't care about where those jobs went, then he and the company worshiped the almighty dollar.

    May 21, 2012 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  21. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    To the California Conservative, the $500 billion from Medicare were programs that were extra that set up by outside private companies and not really a part of Medicare in the first place. Getting these half statements aren't helpful.

    May 21, 2012 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  22. Ray E. (Georgia)

    Trouble in Paradise??? There is no doubt that Romney will be much better for the Economy than Obama. The conservative plan is what it has always been. Long before all the Big Social Programs were put in place the Country did quite well. Probably Bain is an example of that type sucess. People want jobs, not welfare. Obama's main plan is to tax the rich. Kinda like killing the goose that laid the golden egg.

    May 21, 2012 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  23. The REAL Truth...

    @Dave – sounds just like the same old broker record the GOBP keep spouting. Let's ignore that OVER $3T of that was to pay for the TWO wars Dubya started and did not fund. What about the $1.47T deficit that Obama was given as he was sworn in... and the $850+B TARP bailout that was signed into law in DEC 08?
    While I'm sure Mittens is a "swell" guy, and that Bain was a great place to work.. both of those and his constant flip-flopping (what EXACTLY DOES he stand for? anyone know yet??) will be his down fall in Nov.

    May 21, 2012 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  24. California Conservative

    S.B. Stein E.B. NJ – Right and the federal government isn't really the federal government.

    May 21, 2012 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  25. Obama 2012 - BEND Forward America, take another 4 long years of FAILURE

    Since when did Booker think he could get on national TV and tell the truth and not the Obama BS?! Totally outrageous. Isn't anybody from Obama's campaign trailing this guy and keeping an eye on him? If he tells the truth one more time, he's going to have to become a Republican.

    May 21, 2012 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
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