May 20th, 2012
03:00 PM ET
9 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."

Also see:

Rubio unleashes harsh attack on Obama in South Carolina

Gingrich stumps for Romney, calls for unity

NAACP backs same-sex marriage

Bush to return to White House for ceremony

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

    The only people talking about Rev. Wright are the people accusing the GOP of talking about him. All the brouhaha is over a alleged political commercial idea that all the GOPers involved have criticized. This is manufactured news. Ridiculous. Must be a slow news week.

    May 20, 2012 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  2. B.

    It really boils down to what the most important issues are that each man is most concerned about and that has become clear as a result of the primary.
    Romney is concerned mainly about money and corporations as he always has historically. Obama, on the other hand is focused on people and what is required to maintain a functioning middle class which actually drives the economy.

    Without a vibrant middle class spending money the corporations don’t have much left besides the Military Industrial Complex so the Republicans do their best to keep that going..

    May 20, 2012 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  3. Anonymous

    I don't know Cory. Looks as if Chris Christie played you for a fool. Get back to us after
    you read what Rubio and Christie are saying about our President today, OK?
    Just one more day filled with Republican taunts and lies, but, hey, President Obama can take it, yes?
    You on the other hand seem a bit confused.

    May 20, 2012 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  4. nintex

    What a relief to hear a sane politician who is willing to see ahead for the good of the country instead of the party. They seem to be few and far between. I hope to hear more from Mayor Booker in the near future.

    May 20, 2012 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  5. steven harnack

    Then he should be honest and Become a Republican instead of calling himself a Democrat in order to be elected in a Democratic city.

    May 20, 2012 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  6. CBR

    The Mayor is absolutely correct. The politics are very, very brutal as well as being nauseating. The mount of money being spent gets to be more sickening every day. How do people have this much money to fund these PACS. I agree that Romney has not been working for Bain over the last 8 years. However, he has been getting residual checks from them. IF he thought something was wrong I am sure the people at Bain would listen The plant closing was also nothing unusual when Bain stepped in to "run" a business.

    May 20, 2012 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  7. goodbuddy127

    I find all politicians nauseating & unsettling. Reach for the ant-acid fast!! That said, I still vote anyway....

    May 20, 2012 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  8. B

    Not only did Booker throw President Obama under the bus and rolled over him, Booker threw the bus in reverse and ran over the president again.

    May 20, 2012 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  9. B

    Booker's defense of Bain Capital's use of "vulture capitalism" is reprehensible.

    May 20, 2012 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  10. Doc

    The plain truth of the Jeremiah Wright controversy is not that the add wasn't run. It's that they have managed to bring it back up and have it become part of the national dialogue while seeming to distance themselves from it. In toher words they get to have their cake and eat it too without taking an actual position. This way they can silently infer that he is a radical black Christian and at the same time leave the "Obama's a Muslim" theory alive and well.

    May 20, 2012 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  11. Paul Williamson

    Romney's record at Bain is fair game; it is thecenterpiece (and about the only experience) of his claim to evryone that he created hundreds of thousands of jobs. Shouldn"'t this claim be checked, just like claims on a resume? If he did, good for him, if not, he is not only a liar but he has not accomplished creating jobs (either at Bain or as Governor of Massachusetts). President Obamas' record is in plain view; so should be Romney's. Having invested in and dealt with Venture Capital and Cororate raider companies, I can assure you their objective is to make as much money as possible for the owners/inverstors, not to create either corporate value or jobs. If they do, it is incidental. Romney, back up your claims with verifiable facts!!

    May 20, 2012 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  12. treate

    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.

    May 20, 2012 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  13. Just_Stop

    I so glad someone finally spoke out. These political attacks does nothing to uplift our nation as a whole, and only divides everyone farther and farther part. They're an embarrassment and childish. They make America the laughing stock of both the developed and developing world. I remember it all starting from the right wing GOP side, but I'm sadden the Dems are being ignorant enough to take the bait. It's been a huge turn off from the very beginning. JUST STOP IT! If the GOP wants to continue to make fools of themselves just don't go along with it. It's a huge turn off for most everyone with any sizeable brain.

    May 20, 2012 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  14. andrew

    Mayor Booker knows what we all know: the new republican party – which now exclusively practices the politics of personal destruction – is sickening to everyone but the hacking anti-American GOP pigs who do it 24/7 and the heroin-type of addicted person out there who needs to hear this crap in order to get angry enough to awake and go to work. These people could care less about the future of the USA; they can't THINK STRAIGHT past November 4, and a DEFEAT of their enemy – as if Obama were IRAN and we were at war. Mixed-up, screwed-up, messed-up negative destroyers who'd see the USA crumble before allowing President Obama to serve as duly elected president for another four years. What mental illness is worse than this?

    May 20, 2012 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  15. Larry L

    Remember the "death squads coming to get Granny", "Obama paling around with terrorists", and the "birthers"? How about the original "swift boat" lies – where they attacked John Kerry, a decorated war hero, with out-right lies. They questioned John McCain's patriotism during a Republican Primary! Republicans, and Karl Rove especially, have absolutely no ethical boundaries and their followers choose to believe the lies rather than face reality. Think about the "birthers" who represent over 20% of the Republican Party today. Today!

    May 20, 2012 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  16. Indy

    Romney can't talk about job creation when he was 47th as Governor so he brings out his biggest accomplishment and that was at Bain, and it is 100% fair game for him to be judged on what he did at Bain. Romney takes full credit for the jobs created and he needs to take full responsibility for the job losses at Bain. Mitts made millions off of the backs of the middle class that worked at these companies and shipped his profits out of the country that he now wants be President of,so everything that Romney did at Bain should be judged by the voters.

    May 20, 2012 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  17. citizen9

    Things that count to Mitt and his bases' proposals:
    Contraception shall be abortion, I shall abolish my federal income tax liability, the government shall be turned back over to Big Oil and the military industrial complex, the wealthy shall get more wealthy, and I shall save medicare by rescinding O-care and allowing all un-insured to simply die without treatment.

    May 20, 2012 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  18. OCVoterfromCA

    Anyone whom is apart of the Romney wagon should step away because he's bad news. Mitt is wrong, very wrong for American citizens.


    May 20, 2012 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  19. aertzc

    What's even more nauseating is the way that the left is attacking for Cory Booker for not being partisan enough.

    May 20, 2012 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  20. P1PEL1NE

    I want a president who can make money for this country. If Romney can make money for himself, he can do it for the U.S.A. too.

    May 20, 2012 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  21. Marie

    I beg to differ with the Mayor. It is Mitt Romney who has touted his business acumen as his qualification for the job of President. Therefore, an examination of that record is warranted and bringing it to the attention of the electorate is appropriate.

    May 20, 2012 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  22. sharky

    Smart man, Mr. Booker. I just shake my head at all of it, I am so fed up with politics.

    May 20, 2012 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  23. GRWohio

    Well said. I am a conservative. Wish both parties had more people willing to stand up and deliver this message. Politics are not a substitute for leadership

    May 20, 2012 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  24. John

    The thing is, Romney has already said what he would do as President: He would pursue the Ryan budget, reducing Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, education, food stamps, etc., and he would give the savings to the rich in the form of further tax reductions. He would take from the poor and middle class and give it to the wealthy. How anyone who isn't a multimillionaire could vote for this man is beyond me. I guess some people are gullible enough to fall for anything they're told.

    May 20, 2012 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  25. gt

    obama is trying to turn america as the city as newark..... no thanks...

    May 20, 2012 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
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