Booker says comments taken out of context
May 22nd, 2012
12:14 AM ET
2 years ago

Booker says comments taken out of context

(CNN) - Cory Booker, the Democratic mayor of Newark, New Jersey who said Sunday political language used on both sides of the aisle is "nauseating," said Monday his comments were being used for cynical political gain by Republicans seeking to portray Democrats as fractured.

"I've been taken out of context," Booker said on MSNBC. "I've been used to support a cynicism."

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Booker said that GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney's experience leading the private equity firm Bain Capital should be on the table, after saying on Sunday that he was not going "to sit here and indict private equity." Republicans who seized upon that remark only motivated Booker more, the mayor said Monday.

"If anything they've turned me on," Booker said of the backlash from Republicans.

Booker said he felt "used" by the Republican National Committee, which highlighted the remarks in an e-mail to supporters, and said that a Sunday afternoon response he made on YouTube after the comments went viral was not at the request of the Obama campaign.

"The reality is the Barack Obama team and the White House and their political team have been good to me for many, many years," Booker said. "I've worked with them early in the primaries in the last election. They have never pressured me to do anything. 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."

Republican criticism of Obama involving his one-time spiritual mentor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, "can't even be equated" with the comparatively mild language used by Democrats, he said in the interview.

On Sunday, Booker invoked the Bain and Wright attacks as examples of discussions that are distracting from the larger issues facing the U.S.

But on Monday, Booker was clear that Bain, and Romney's business record overall, are very much fair game.

He drew a distinction between Romney's claim that his investments produced jobs, rather than only returns for his investors.

"When he says he was a job creator, I think that's a characterization of his record that deserves inquiry," Booker said.

Asked about his supporter's comments at a Monday news conference, Obama said Bain should be in play.

"When you're president, as opposed to the head of a private equity firm, then your job is not simply to maximize profits. Your job is to figure out how everybody in the country has a fair shot," Obama said.

However, Booker was not clear where the line should be drawn between the "appropriate questions" about Romney's record that he referenced Monday, and the "ridiculous" that he mentioned Sunday.

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


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soundoff (34 Responses)
  1. B

    Booker mucked up and there is no fixing it!

    May 22, 2012 12:25 am at 12:25 am |
  2. G

    Mayor Booker, thanks for throwing President Obama under the bus. Why don't you do democrats a favor and join the republican party so you can support Romney outright.

    May 22, 2012 12:37 am at 12:37 am |
  3. Rudy NYC

    He's correct. If you listen to the right, all you hear is anger, venom, and vile.

    May 22, 2012 08:09 am at 8:09 am |
  4. luigim

    Saw Mayor Booker on Rachel Maddow's program last evening. I believe that everything he said was sincere. The GOP is having a ball with is comments. Much of what he initially said on Meet the Press was taken out of context.
    I believe that Mayor Booker will continue to be a strong supporter of President Obama.

    May 22, 2012 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  5. sylvia

    He had his hands slapped by the Democrats. He stepped out of the lockstep by telling the truth. You can't do that and be a good Democrat.

    May 22, 2012 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  6. Lionel

    Way to go Booker. Republicans will go to any lengths to twist the truth.

    We need to vote these Republicans out.

    Romney's record at Bain is fair game. He did not created jobs but sold these companies while laying off workers and lined his pockets with millions of dollars.

    That is the fact. Meanwhile Obama saved us from another depression and has created 4.2 million jobs in

    May 22, 2012 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  7. vrsatile1

    Corey you shouldn't be surprised, because this is how sneaky Republicans are!

    May 22, 2012 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  8. Mike

    You're right Gov. Booker. Stand up for your convictions. Republican or Democrat, you should be able to speak up and follow your beliefs even if a few of them don't fit your political party.

    May 22, 2012 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  9. daveinil

    Isn't it sad when a politician gives an honest answer to a question and then has to try to retract it when his colleagues in his party deem it not politically correct. Everyone who saw the discussion Sunday morning knows he wasn'taken out of context.

    May 22, 2012 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  10. nilla

    "Booker said he felt "used" by the Republican National Committee, which highlighted the remarks in an e-mail to supporters..."

    Here is the answer to all of you who have asked, "why isn't OWS protesting against Obama?"

    May 22, 2012 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  11. 1crusader

    I just don't get how Cory Booker couldn't figure out that his untempered comments wouldn't end up in an ad for the GOP.

    May 22, 2012 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  12. Robyn

    There is no lie the Republican Party will not tell to gain power.
    There is depravity they will not sink to in order to hold power.

    May 22, 2012 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  13. Wiley

    The unfairness of it all! Booker being used by the GOP the same way GOP surrogates are used by the DNC. It's unfair I tell you. Just unfair!

    May 22, 2012 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  14. ClemVinson

    Really? The GOP is twisting the words of public servants? Well, that just seems unheard of. I'll have to tune into fox news and get the "real" story on this one. Its not like I'm gonna take a man's explanantion of his own words on face value. Surely, they will come up with a far more devisive, yet interesting, spin for this one. Looks like they're grasping at straws again. Probably should of stuck with the gay marriage thing for another cycle, it was still getting pretty good numbers via their viewers.

    May 22, 2012 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  15. USNDV

    He has been used .....first spoke his mind ..then got the obama call.

    May 22, 2012 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  16. East of Eden

    Whatever... This guy is just like the rest of him. Someone do an extensive audit of his 'Booker Team' donations please. Running into a burning building was an awesome thing though. Have to show him love for that.

    May 22, 2012 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  17. once upon a horse

    The GOP seems to forget that one of their own, namely Newt Gingrich did something similar when he at first came out on national tv against the Ryan Budget Plan....the Republicans quiclky dragged him to the woodshed and Newt did everything to walk that comment back but kiss Ryan's ring. Booker has nobody to blame but himself for this and taken out of context or not he'll be a poster boy for GOP Super-Pac ads to come. Personally I think instead of going on Maddow last night he should have gone on Hannity......although Sean may have cut his mike when he started tearing into the GOP and their tactics though.

    May 22, 2012 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  18. dreamer96

    We really need to vote out all 238 House of Representatives members, and 41 Senators, that signed Grover NOquist's No No No pledge...a pledge to a single man, that they hold higher than their oath of office..Vote all those 279 members of Congress out. Replace them with people that can work together and compromise and fix this country..together.. If we vote out the GOP and Tea Party extremist, the liberal extremist will stop too...and some resemblance of sanity will come back to the USA...

    May 22, 2012 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  19. really

    Looks like he was told to get back in line. "Nauseating"!

    May 22, 2012 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  20. Some Democrat Guy

    There are consequences to going off the reservation, Booker. Have any Chicago visitors lately? We must all remain loyal to fearless leader.

    May 22, 2012 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  21. bill

    Well, I admired one Democrat for a day. But now he's doing the typical side-step. The Obama machine obviously got the Marxist's message through to him loud and clear.

    May 22, 2012 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  22. Newmoon2

    What is politics if not cynical? Mr. Booker, there IS no high road remaining in politics. There is only a low road which seems to be winding toward ever lower circles of hell.

    May 22, 2012 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  23. anoel2005

    Booker told the truth about Bain Capital on Meet the Press. He said they should NOT be attacked by the Obama campaign. ......... and then the Democrat Party called and strong armed him to walk it back . Booker should have been a man and stood up for truth.

    It's a sad day in America when "the Party" trumps the truth.

    May 22, 2012 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  24. Jerome

    This is unprecedented!

    May 22, 2012 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  25. aaron

    Way to back pedal pal. We all know what you said, no need to try and lie about it now!

    May 22, 2012 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
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