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. OCVoterinCA

    The Bain doctrine is not for Americans. Send Ronovrmey packing. Move FORWARD. Obama/Biden2012

    May 21, 2012 02:51 am at 2:51 am |
  2. Edwin

    The problem with a two-party system is this: it is cheaper, easier, and more effective to tear down your opponent than it is to build up a realistic and successful platform. Modern political and psychological theory allow us now to pinpoint very closely the exact dollar cost to "turn" a precinct - and the cost is much lower when you deal primarily in negative advertising.

    A many-party system also has quirks, but it is not as effective to spend your money bashing just one opponent, causing most candidates to spend at least some of their time trying to actually run on issues.

    May 21, 2012 02:53 am at 2:53 am |

    Mr. Booker spoke honestly, but maybe at a cost. He said what he felt was right...kudos to him! ~However, confronting Romney on Bain, and ESPECIALLY on storing money overseas, is fair game! OBAMA/BIDEN 2012!!!

    May 21, 2012 02:53 am at 2:53 am |
  4. BeverlyNC

    Republicans are digusting liars, haters, cheaters, and destroyers of our country. They have betrayed us and enough is enough. We must get all of them out of every local ,state, and national office to restore our country and our democracy. Republicans are not leaders, not true to the People, and only work for the corporations who buy them.

    May 21, 2012 03:55 am at 3:55 am |
  5. Dan

    The meaning is: Obama failed, and has only pseudo blames in his sleeves to throw at someone with real business experience (politics as usual, diverting from the failures over the economy), but he is African American, so he deserves to be reelected; well this seems debatable (politics of race?), at least!

    May 21, 2012 04:19 am at 4:19 am |
  6. Gimmeabreak!

    What is really nauseating is the gullibility of people who worship this failure and imposter, Obama! THAT is nauseating! THAT will continue to bring our country down. It's gotta end!

    Romney 2012 - bring pride and honor back!

    May 21, 2012 04:47 am at 4:47 am |
  7. Aliwisious Davendander III

    I see a guy that is looking at his own future run as POTUS and is stepping out of line to that end. It sickens me to see someone slam his own party effectively for his own publicity. The republicans are the queens of negative smear campaigning and will not stop for any reason. As long as Karl Rove still lives and breathes, the GOP will always be all about dirty pool. How Mr. Rmoney conducted himself and his investments is absolutely fair game. From his business past, since he wants to try and run on it himself, to his govenership he ran poorly. And if the right wants to attack the president on religion, so be it. They have been for years. When he's not a Muslim, he's an extremist Christian? Pshhh get real. It's time the left fought back, rising above obviously doesn't work with the "jersey shore" generation anyway.

    May 21, 2012 04:53 am at 4:53 am |
  8. Jerry

    Oh my GOD! One of the few Democrats that still makes some sense. There may be some hope after all!!!

    This coming from a life-long Democrat. Go figure.

    Now, Mayor Booker, if you can only pass that sensibility and smarts on the Mr. Obama administration; we will at least get started on the right road.

    Mayor Booker, best wishes for success.

    May 21, 2012 06:15 am at 6:15 am |
  9. Marie MD

    The sociorobully and bain made money with other people's money and at the expense of American jobs, bankrupting companies and sending jobs overseas.
    In other words most of their investments padded their pockets but FAILED!!!

    May 21, 2012 06:19 am at 6:19 am |
  10. .

    You can keep the hopey changey.

    May 21, 2012 06:43 am at 6:43 am |
  11. Common Sense

    Glad to see there is still sane Democrats remaining!

    May 21, 2012 06:46 am at 6:46 am |
  12. Mtheumer

    The biggest hope, and it seems to be working, is that most people don't understand that a company like Bane Capital doesn't care about jobs if it means cutting into the bottom line. If they create jobs, great, but if labor needs to be cut, out the entire company needs to be sold off, great. As long as the bottom-line is in the black. The beast doesn't care how it eats as long as it does.

    May 21, 2012 06:48 am at 6:48 am |
  13. Corwin7

    Dear SBSSue1,
    No Bain didn't "invest in a company that didn't work out" they took over a company that was in short term trouble...leveraged it for millions of dollars that they then put in thier pockets *liquidated* then moved on letting the company go bankrupt, defaulting on the debts they had accured, and eliminating the workers jobs, while making themselves filthy rich. If you aren't going to do more than watch Faux News to educate yourself about what's ACTUALLY going on then please post there with the other brain dead zombies and not here where the grown-ups are talking.

    May 21, 2012 06:48 am at 6:48 am |
  14. Rick Douglas

    Hooray for Major Booker. It's the media that constantly throws this crap in our face.

    May 21, 2012 06:52 am at 6:52 am |
  15. T'sah from Virginia

    ►Claudia, Houston, Tx
    Republican candidates Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry, Michelle Bachmann and Rick Santorum started the attacks on Romney about Bain as well as the attacks on President Obama and Wright.◄

    Doggone right – they started it and we will finish it. Booker inhaled too much smoke when he rescued his neighbor. Also, he's been hanging out with Chris Christie too much – Arrogant fool!!! That's it for me – I used to like him with a grain of salt but now I can't even take him with a grain of salt - This will hurt him!!!

    I had to read this twice – I did not get it at first – Now Booker is trying to walk back from it. And then you had Rubio shooting venom against President Obama that was a fat out LIE; I wonder what Booker will say about that??

    Obama 2012 – The Only Trusted Way Forward!!!

    May 21, 2012 06:59 am at 6:59 am |
  16. John, PA

    Well Mr. Mayor; tell the Democrats to STOP the attacks, oh, then they would have no campaign, Democrats cannot run on their record since 2007.

    May 21, 2012 07:21 am at 7:21 am |
  17. Karla

    Wait!!! So Mitt Romeny goes in a private company that is struggling (which has been noted he wasn't really even a part of at that time, but let's take it from the prespective that he was) and attempts to "bring it back to life" and fails. It was a private sector loss. OUR PRESIDENT gambles our tax money on Solyndra (among many others) and loses billions and he has the audacity to criticize Romney for ANYTHING on the financial forefront. That my people is BAD, BAD politics and unfortunately most of the media neglects to "educate" it's readers on both sides.

    May 21, 2012 07:29 am at 7:29 am |
  18. SlowGun


    When times are bad, one cannot always work miracles as these people think.

    Please tell this to the folks critizing Obama. He was left with the worse recession since the great depression. Things are better than they were when Bush left office. But these people think that everything should be back to "normal" by now. Sorry folks, it don't work like that!

    May 21, 2012 07:33 am at 7:33 am |
  19. Marcia Greenwood, IN

    Remember the attack ads Romney ran against opponents Santorum and Gingrich-so Romney has already taken the low road and will in the future. Bain capital is a Vulture-they made money whether firms were a success or failure and the money was their goal-so they are guilty of taking jobs and moving jobs and capital overseas far from taxation. That is what people mind.

    May 21, 2012 07:40 am at 7:40 am |
  20. Errm

    Hm. Kind of makes me wonder who is donating to this guy's campaign if he doesn't think the pillaging by Mitt's company was a big deal.
    The claim that Mitt was no longer a part of this company when this happened is FALSE. He was on the Board!

    May 21, 2012 07:46 am at 7:46 am |
  21. Jules

    This is an idealistic vision that I share with Booker, however to stand idly by while your opponent runs a scorched earth ad policy is not the way to do it. Maybe we should get rid of the ability to have super pacs and all have a "new rule" that all ads must focus on the candidates own record and own ideas. How refreshing would that be? Then we would be equipped to make a wise decision based on facts and not innuendo, lies, half truths and twisted, out of context quotes.

    May 21, 2012 07:55 am at 7:55 am |
  22. Scott

    Politics are supposed to be messy. Spare me the drivel about how "everyone's just too MEAN to each other these days *sniff*".

    May 21, 2012 08:04 am at 8:04 am |
  23. Richard

    All this guy has done is give the rethuglicans ammunition about Bain capital. It's too bad he wasn't around when all these people were flimflammed by romney. The Pharisees can say that Judas did good for them. Does it make it right for the majority of people who got screwed. Keep giving him ammuniton.

    May 21, 2012 08:15 am at 8:15 am |
  24. Jay

    Despite disliking Romney's political and social views and Republican 'values', I would have respected Booker if he had taken a balanced approach to the criticism of the Bain ad. The fact is that Romney has touted his work at Bain as what makes him a great candidate for fixing the ailing economy. It is absolutely correct and fair that the ad Booker blasts points out the side of Bain that Romney is not talking about. It is Romney who brought Bain into politics, not Obama. Whatever Booker's motivation is in this matter, his one sided view of the Bain ad is very disappointing and sounds self serving! May be he is the 'literate black' Davis and Rickett are looking for to sell the Jeremiah Wright ad. Does this last statement of mine sound unfair to Booker? Yes, perhaps in the same way his one sided blasting of the Bain ad!

    May 21, 2012 08:22 am at 8:22 am |
  25. Tony

    Mr Booker you just lost my vote if you do decide to run for president.Coming out like this is giving the republicans fudder to attack Dems why can't we be as disciplined as the gop.

    May 21, 2012 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
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