May 20th, 2012
03:00 PM ET
11 years ago

Political jabs are 'nauseating,' mayor says

(CNN) – Mayor Cory Booker of Newark, New Jersey, a Democrat, said Sunday that some of the current politicking makes him sick - including criticism of Mitt Romney from his own party.

Booker, whose national standing is on the rise, distanced himself from attacks on Romney's record at the private equity firm Bain Capital, which he said make him "uncomfortable."

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"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's "Meet the Press." "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 compared Romney's background to his own as mayor and called for the attacks from both parties to cease. The two-term mayor has supported significant budget cuts in his city that he said were necessary to correct its fiscal order.

"This kind of stuff is nauseating to me on both sides. It's nauseating to the American public. Enough is enough, stop attacking private equity. Stop attacking Jeremiah Wright," Booker said. "This stuff has got to stop because what it does is, it undermines to me what this country should be focused on."

Romney's history in the private sector and a Republican-backed proposal for an ad linking President Barack Obama to his controversial former pastor, Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., have occupied much of the campaign chatter of late.

Team Obama has condemned Romney and his partners for profiting while some of the companies with which he was involved laid off workers or filed for bankruptcy. Romney's campaign has defended his record as an example of capitalism and accused the Obama re-election campaign of waging class warfare.

Ultimately, Booker, an Obama supporter, said the 2012 election is about "two men with fundamentally different ideals."

"The sexy stuff of campaigns that the media plays over and over again that we wasted time talking about is this negative stuff," Booker said. "The reality is – and I listen to Obama. I have Obama surrogate notes here, they're talking about the positive issues."

After an onslaught of attention following his Sunday show appearance, Booker took to YouTube Sunday afternoon to reiterate his support of the president and elaborate on his frustrations with current state of political campaigns.

Booker said Obama "more than deserves re-election," but that he hopes the general election will focus on the "issues that count."

"I am indeed upset. I am indeed frustrated," Booker said. "But I believe the American public, working together can more and more denounce this type of campaigning and more and more focus on the issues that count."

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Filed under: 2012 • Cory Booker • Mitt Romney • President Obama
soundoff (175 Responses)
  1. Bob

    I see the usual Reich Wing stupidity is on full display, as always.

    May 21, 2012 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  2. Bubba

    There's nothing illegal about vulture capitalism, but I'd rather trust a man who worked for the people than one who bought up their jobs and turned them out, no matter how 'legal' it was. It shows something about the respective candidates' feelings about people in general and whether you should help them or pick their pockets.

    May 21, 2012 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  3. Data Driven

    Well, gee, Booker, if political attacks nauseate you, maybe you're in the wrong business. Gotta love these "above the fray" types. Pick a side, Booker, and stick with it. In any case, we others are nauseated by firms like Bain that "streamline" companies by laying people off in order to maximize profits for fat-cat shareholders. Firms like Bain are destroying the middle-class in this country. Oh, and way to stick up for your party's leader. Obama has all the frenemies he needs without you opening your pie-hole.

    May 21, 2012 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  4. Joi Gibson

    Love Mayor Booker, but I disagree with him on this. I think the Obama campaign has every right to go after Willard and Bain. Williard touts his record at Bain as being a job creator, he knows how the economy works because he has worked in private business. Fair game and it is germane to the election. Certainly more so than Rev. Wright. It is unfortunate the negativity in this campaign, but the President has to fight fire with fire. Especially when you have people like Marco Rubio saying the vilest things about the President and he apparently is being considered for Willard's V.P. slot.


    May 21, 2012 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  5. Cam Stanford -- THE WINNER


    Romney's people are playing with FIRE if they plan to link Obama with Wright. It will open the door for Democratic SuperPacs to link Romney with all the voodoo nonsense of the Mormons. For example, what will Romney say when he is asked if he believes it's right for a married man to take a second wife who is young girl. Defending that along with polygamy is a tough sale, even for Romney (who can apparently agree with everything). Good luck with that Mitt!

    And, if Wright comes into the equation, look forward to loads of testimonials from people who lost jobs and their own homes because of Romney's dirty dealings at Bain.

    May 21, 2012 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  6. tez07

    I wonder why the campaigns bother to spend on political consultants when they could just come to the comment section for keen and astute political insight.

    May 21, 2012 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  7. kaligaclark

    The more I hear from Cory, the more I like the man. He is intelligent and sensible.

    May 21, 2012 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  8. natfka

    Ah, halfway down we get to the point. Stop attacking Jeremiah Wright.

    May 21, 2012 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  9. Really?

    I saw Booker playing with Christy on TV ad and wondered. What do we have here a closet republican wanting it both ways? Really, Booker, you're with Team Obama? Why don't you really have his back?

    May 21, 2012 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  10. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    In regards to trying to re-link President Obama to Reverend Wright, I remember thinking back in 2008 that with "friends" like Wright, who refused to leave the glare of the spotlight, President Obama didn't need enemies. I also thought that Wright's comments at the pulpit,although divisive and in my opinion out of place in a church, were HIS comments and opinions, not Obama's and certainly not tenets of his church. On the other hand, Romney's church tenets are questionable at best. If I were Mittens I'd try my level best to keep the subject of RELIGION or anything remotely associated with it out of this campaign. He would NOT fare well if he allowed himself or his Super-Pacs to try and attack the President on THAT particular front.
    Magic of the dead....excluding Blacks from their hierarchy until recently...polygamy.....Uh-uh. Leave it alone Mittens. Leave it alone.

    May 21, 2012 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  11. Gimmeabreak!

    I see the Obama gangsters got to Booker with a dead horse head in his bed - so he had to "soften" his stance. Ah, yes, the Libs sure stick to their values (NOT!).

    May 21, 2012 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  12. clarke

    I for one find these politics disgusting. I don't care to hear how bad someone else is, I think I already know all that garbage. I want to hear what you will do for our Nation and its people and how. Sell your self and your party, I don't think putting others down wins. Well at least one would only hope, but then most people are sheep. There needs to be respect and class, that has been lost . We are dividing our selves as a Nation and the media doesn't help, they love all this, keeps them working.

    May 21, 2012 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  13. Lizzie

    DOMINICAN...... Go read "The Amateur"

    May 21, 2012 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  14. Lizzie

    Cam..... Right let's not look into President Obamas questionable past, his associations with communists, home grown terrorists, his association with Frank Marshall Davis his mentor. But let's go back AS FAR as we can to look at Romney, let's question Romneys faith but don't you DARE question President Obamas.

    May 21, 2012 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  15. WWJeffD

    Cory needs to be put down and put down HARD. He's on the wrong side of History.Politics,Ecomomics and Race.
    Engage Brain before putting Mouth in gear!

    May 21, 2012 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  16. Lynda/Minnesota

    Hey, Dominican mama, glad I caught you today. Not only will Mitt go there, but it'll end his presidential dreams once and for all.

    I agree that it's time to limit ourselves to this foolishness. I'm surprised that your comment was posted, though. I've tried to express the same sentiments. I'm either moderated or deleted.

    Later, my friend ...

    May 21, 2012 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  17. g

    Thank you Booker for speaking up.

    May 21, 2012 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  18. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Lizzie just as soon as I finish reading Sarah Palin's "Going Rogue".

    May 21, 2012 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  19. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    They do try to keep us in our respective "boxes" via moderation don't they?
    Keep up the good fight babe. God bless.

    May 21, 2012 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  20. Beverly - NYC

    Mr. Mayor you stepped in it big time. We know you had to walk the tight rope because much of Newark resurgence is due to Venture Capitalist investment in Newark's downtown and water front. All you had to say was not all venture capitalism is bad but if Mitt wants to hold himself out as the saviour of the the ecomony he has to show the successes and well as the failures while at Bain.

    Willard can't have it both ways, government debt is bad , but in the same lifetime he thinks nothing of loading companies with debt and walyzingaway with profit? In his Bain days he gambled with private money. Think he will do any different with the checkbook of the American people withour the Bain garantees? Mitt will make Cheney's double dealing no bid Hallibuton deals look like child's play.

    May 21, 2012 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  21. Obama 2012 - BEND Forward America, take another 4 long years of FAILURE

    While Obama attacks Bain and Romney, he's getting contributions from people at Bain. While Obama attacks the evil 1%, he's out getting cash from them at $50,000 a plate. The guy is liar and a hypocrite the likes of which have never been seen before. Divisive at every opportunity. He won't be happpy until their is rioting in the streets of this country. Oh wait, OWS is already doing that.... Good work Obama. Is THAT the change you were advertising in 2008? Is the new slogan now "FORWARD into the streets and take what you want"?

    May 21, 2012 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  22. Minx

    Running a business is a lot harder than being a community organizer and handing out fliers. Bain had a lot of business success like Staples, Gartner, and Steel Dynamics so they did create a lot of value for workers and investors. If Bain did such a poor jonb they would not of been and business growing and prospering more than 20 years.

    May 21, 2012 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  23. roro

    Here is the difference between Republicans and Democrats. Republicans show no thought processes of their own, and just say and do whatever Grover Norquist tells them to say and do. Democrats, on the other hand, speak their own minds, even though I disagree with Booker on this one. As one Republican said recently, his idea of bipartisanship is for all Democrats to come over to their side. No thought process there.

    May 21, 2012 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  24. Obama 2012 - BEND Forward America, take another 4 long years of FAILURE

    Democrats attacking Bain just shows they would rather have all the companies just go bankrupt so that every worker loses their jobs. Yes, fair treatment for EVERYBODY. Democrats demand equal treatment and guaranteed equal outcome, that level playing field for everybody. Total insanity. It is not how the real world works.

    May 21, 2012 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  25. Larry L


    He won't indict private equity? He's going to get himself thrown out of the Democratic Party. He's not following the "demonize the rich" playbook.

    What a refreshing change.
    You're using the Republican playbook right now. Ronald Regan supported the exact same sort of progressive tax rate as President Obama. You treasure his memory as an icon of conservatism. The Honorable Senator Major General Barry Goldwater, the compassionate conservative, also supported a progressive tax structure. Are they now "socialists"?

    May 21, 2012 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
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