Obama campaign: Booker spoke with DNC
May 22nd, 2012
12:18 PM ET
3 years ago

Obama campaign: Booker spoke with DNC

Washington (CNN) – As it turns out, Newark, New Jersey Mayor Cory Booker did talk with an official at the Democratic National Committee following his off-message appearance on NBC's "Meet the Press," an Obama campaign spokesman confirmed Tuesday.

Ben LaBolt, a spokesman for the president's re-election team, told CNN in an interview on Monday that Booker was never pressured by the Obama campaign to record a YouTube video clarifying his remarks on the Sunday talk show.

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During his appearance on "Meet the Press," the Obama supporter described attacks on Mitt Romney's tenure at the private investment firm Bain Capital as "nauseating." Booker also seemed to equate the Bain criticism with a recent effort by conservative operatives to dredge up stories about the president's former pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright. Hours later on Sunday, Booker recorded a web video that questioned Romney's record at the company.

"We did not ask him to do so. We did not," LaBolt told CNN's Brooke Baldwin on Monday when asked whether the Obama campaign had called on Booker to clean up his comments. "He released that video of his own volition."

In a statement released by LaBolt Tuesday, he again insisted that Booker was not asked to release the video. But LaBolt did reveal Booker had a conversation with an unnamed DNC official.

"As Mayor Booker has said, the campaign did not reach out and ask him to record a video. Campaign officials also had not reached out directly to Mayor Booker yesterday, but he spoke with a DNC official who also did not ask him to record a video," LaBolt said.

He declined to specify what exactly that DNC official said to Booker during the conversation.

The statement from LaBolt was first reported in Politico.

However, LaBolt's statement is somewhat at odds with what Booker told MSNBC's Rachel Maddow Monday night. During the interview, Booker said he had "conversations" with the Obama campaign.

"They've done nothing but encourage me and in this case in particular, I certainly did talk with campaign officials. But they didn't force me to do anything. They had good conversations with me," Booker told MSNBC.


Filed under: 2012 • Cory Booker • DNC • President Obama
soundoff (40 Responses)
  1. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    We all called Corey Booker and asked him to cleanup his comments because we are his supporters, not Republicans. So Republicans, go fish somewhere else.

    May 22, 2012 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  2. Rudy NYC

    I don't think Mayor Booker understands the most significant difference between private equity firms and venture capitalist firms. Generally speaking, the two entities operate at opposite ends of the life cycle of a company. Venture capitalists primarily fund new ventures. Private equity firms primarily fund bankruptcies and buyouts. Buy low and sell high is what private equity tries to do. Jobs factor into the bottom line as a liability that cut into profits.

    May 22, 2012 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  3. GROVER NORQUIST IS A ENEMY OF THE STATE/ConservaFASCISTS

    Who cares? This is just political fodder for Willard's campaign. Regardless of how sick it makes you to your stomach, Willard's Bain record is fair game. How many jobs were lost and created while Willard was CEO? Willard's record as governor is fair game. How did Massachusetts go from 36th to 47th in job creation? Willard's lack of foreign policy experience is fair game. Does he actually intend on attacking Iran? These are issues that need to be debated no matter how "nauseating" it may be.

    May 22, 2012 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  4. Anonymous

    Booker is confused like many about the roll of venture capital in Amercian economics. There is a huge difference between those VC's who take risks funding start-ups in innovative businesses be it in high tech or in the biomedical industry, among others. They funded the creation of Silicon Vallety and the biotech industry, two of this country's most important economic engines. The Romney/Bain Vulture Capitalist model is based on a smash-and-grab strategy that sucks out all the assets of a faltering company, pays huge bonuses to the investors, defunds pension plans at the expense of the tax payer and basically takes no risk with their own money. This business model is exemplary of Romney's cold corporatist, empathy-devoid personality and illustrates why he is unfit to be the leader of this country. These attacks are valid and important sources of information about who Romney really is.

    May 22, 2012 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  5. george_w_tush

    Who does this guy think he is, Mitt Flip Flop Robme?

    May 22, 2012 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  6. Obama 2012 - BEND Forward America, take another 4 long years of FAILURE

    The Obama campaign yanked Booker's collar and dragged him back onto the Obama Failure Farm. Telling the truth about Obama is a punishable offense. Expect Booker to be very quiet from now on or the Obama campaign would have to take more drastic measures like stop federal dollars from flowing into Booker's area.

    May 22, 2012 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  7. jefflz

    Booker is very confused about the roll of venture capital in American economics and should not have spoken out of ignorance. There is a huge difference between those VC's who take risks funding start-ups in innovative businesses be it in high tech or in the biomedical industry, among others. They funded the creation of Silicon Valley and the biotech industry, two of this countries most important economic engines. The Romney/Bain Vulture Capitalist model is based on a smash-and-grab strategy that sucks out all the assets of a faltering company, pays huge bonuses to the investors, defunds pension plans at the expense of the tax payer and basically takes no risk with their own money. This business model is exemplary of Romney's cold corporatist, empathy-devoid personality and illustrates why he is unfit to be the leader of this country. These attacks are valid and important sources of information about who Romney really is.

    May 22, 2012 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  8. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Remember the good old days when Newt called Mittens a liar, Rick said Mittens was the worst republican, and Huntsman, nailed Mittens to the wall?

    May 22, 2012 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  9. Some Democrat Guy

    Booker, Booker, Booker... you will be getting some visitors from Chicago who will explain what happens to those who go off the rails. Loyalty to fearless leader is your only priority.

    May 22, 2012 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  10. Jerry

    Oh yes, and the American people are supposed to believe the usual lies and denials coming from the Mr. Obama Campaign Team?! Of course they are going to deny that they pressured Mayor Booker after his opposing Democratic comments over the weekend.

    Anyone that disagrees with Mr. Obama immediately becomes persona non-grata in the eyes of Mr. Obama and his flunkies. With this divisive bully (Mr. Obama), there is absolutely no room for respectful and cordial dissent. It's obvious that Mayor Booker was prodded into somewhat of a reversal on his comments.

    Go figure... America, don't be fooled, AGAIN!!!

    May 22, 2012 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  11. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Expect the right wingnuts who think Mittens is a lying fool, to shut up and bend over for the Kochs.

    May 22, 2012 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  12. bassman

    The next question our media should ask is did anyone at the White House talk to anyone at the Democratic National Committee" If the White House did not talk directly with Mr. Booker, did they use the DNC to do their dirty work?

    May 22, 2012 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  13. Obama 2012 - BEND Forward America, take another 4 long years of FAILURE

    Anonymous - Booker is confused like many about the roll of venture capital in Amercian economics.
    Rudy NYC - I don't think Mayor Booker understands the most significant difference between private equity firms and venture capitalist firms.
    ====================================================================================

    my, my my.... we sure can tell who is receiving the Democrat talking points on this blog!!!

    Yeah, Cory Booker is just a stupid moron that hasn't worked with these firms on a daily basis in his role as mayor of a large metropolitan city in NJ. I must say, you liberals do hold true to form. You try to paint EVERYBODY as stupid, even your own, when they make the mistake of telling the truth, or wandering off the Kooladie Farm.

    May 22, 2012 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  14. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Will the vulture capitalist sell off the southern states, since they get more money back from Washington than they send in taxes?

    May 22, 2012 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  15. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    What truths has Mittens told? If you listen, he takes both sides of most issues, which makes him a liar only 50% of the time.

    May 22, 2012 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  16. Romneys' Bain-Factor..is a record...

    Romney used the Bain-factor to create profit and wealth for the Investors...and Romney, as President will use the
    Bain-Factor to create profit and wealth for all Americans and the country...We are all for it...!

    May 22, 2012 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  17. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Any one who is critical of Mittens gets the wrath of Fox foreign owned media and their misinformed viewers.

    May 22, 2012 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  18. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Romney's Bain factor should tell how he will treat American workers. His economic policy is a lot like the 1920's when the GOP ran on "a chicken in every pot," and what happens is that the American people will end up getting their pot repossessed by the GOP.

    May 22, 2012 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  19. Myviewis

    Oh no, Booker stepped out of the collective and had a thought of his own. That's it, in typical Democrat way Booker will be disconnected, cut off, unfriended for disagreeing with Democrats. Of course, Booker might be forgiven for changing his view to help Democrats look good.

    May 22, 2012 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  20. BB

    Booker should now be concerned about his own reelection strategy.

    May 22, 2012 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  21. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Newt was critical of Mittens, and Mittens spent $15 million in negative ads in Florida to destroy him. That is the republican way of life, "money talks."

    May 22, 2012 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  22. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    When the large governor of NJ runs with Mittens and is soundly defeated, Booker will run for governor. He had this planned.

    May 22, 2012 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  23. cuisinemanager

    How funny that Booker is back tracking from the truth. Someone obviously got to him. Also how in the world can Obama win by attempting to attack Romney's business experience. Romney has been wildly successful in business. Just another example of Obama's poor judgement!

    May 22, 2012 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  24. Myviewis

    Democrats should give Booker credit for having the courage to give his opinion even if it disagrees with the collective. I was impressed he spoke his mind but then those colored feathers popped up on Booker and I was no longer impressed with him.

    May 22, 2012 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  25. Obama 2012 - BEND Forward America, take another 4 long years of FAILURE

    And it isn't just Cory Booker, but Harold Ford and Obama's own car czar that are criticizing Obama's attacks on Bain. Are the progressives going to round everybody up and drag them off to the Obama re-education camps like they did in the old communist countries? Sure sounds like it.

    May 22, 2012 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
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