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. Amazed2

    I say ban Republicanism.... God's world would be a better place...

    May 21, 2012 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  2. Michael

    This is the hypocrisy of typical Liberal. I can do anything I want and if someone else do the same, cry foul.

    May 21, 2012 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  3. sbssue1

    I guess one must choose who they think will do the better job. I like the President, but he needs to do something besides spend all of our money. It's the better of the two. I can't vote for someone because the movie stars think I should. That's not at all good for our country. I didn't like Bush either so .......I guess I'm an Independent at heart.

    May 21, 2012 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  4. Jay

    Romney and Booker supporting Fox News watchers who have posted here did not disappoint! I expected them to come out of the woodwork to do just that! And they did not disappoint by staying with the same tired lies – Obama is a failure, he spends tax money, Solyndra! These are the same idiots who attacked everyone who protested an unnecessary war that had numerous Americans killed and maimed in Iraq at a huge cost to tax payers and when Cheney's friends over at Haliburton and other contractors misused tax payer money! But hey, as long as American people are stupid enough to believe the Repub lies and vote them in, why worry about 'Christian values', which one would think would include not lying and helping the poor?

    May 21, 2012 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  5. JC

    Ultimately, it is fairer to attack someone's affiliation to an anti-American – possibly anti-white – "preacher" (obviously if a white candidate had this affiliation they would be disqualified; but the African-American version is somewhat politically different) than it is to attack a candidate for being successful in business which – obviously – has its ups and downs with regard to hiring and firing. What would Obama want? For companies never to make a profit; for people not to become well-off; for a free market to exist? This attack stinks of socilism more than anything he's ever done before. I don't like it and it has changed me from an Obama supporter – 4 years ago – to a Romey supporter.

    May 21, 2012 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  6. Mack

    No Cory, you aren't allowed in the 1%. You don't have a Swiss bank account and you aren't white.

    May 21, 2012 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  7. Mike

    Even the libbyest liberal has to admit that attacking Romney over Bain and then hosting a fundraiser with Tony James of Blackstone – who essentially does the same thing Romney did, is covered in weak sauce and stinks of duplicity. Corey Booker gets it, why doesn't the rest of the Left?

    May 21, 2012 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  8. Trying to figure it out

    This attack ad warrented some additional research. I found this article by Steve Kaplan at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.It is too long to post, but attached are the highlight. read it for yourself:

    Bain Capital and Romney delivered strong results for their customers, better than other private equity firms that on average outperformed the public markets. Today, those customers include the California State Teachers' Retirement System and the Teacher Retirement System of Texas.

    The large job creators are clearly Staples and Sports Authority. Both of these were small, young companies when Bain Capital invested in them.
    Overall, then, the companies Bain Capital funded under Romney have created tens of thousands of jobs using any measure.

    What happened to the companies that went bankrupt, particularly the companies Bain Capital supposedly “looted”? How many jobs did Romney and Bain Capital destroy?
    THe article cites 4 companies: with the conclusion:
    Bain Capital could argue that these four investments led to a net increase in jobs.

    I am getting the distinct impression that the Obama campaign is falling to politics as usual and really looking for any way possible to win. This is disappointing.

    May 21, 2012 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  9. tez07

    Apparently reading comprehension was skipped as most of you are doing exactly as he is advocating against

    May 21, 2012 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  10. catwill

    It is okay to be honest for Mayor Booker to speak his opinion. He did not disagree with what President Obama said rather that to dinigrate the entire Venture Capitalist world instead the focus should be that Mr Romney used his careeer at Bains for his resume to qualify him for President and that bears srutiny because he did not create that many well paying jobs as he claims instead he made money for investors which is different. Obama/Biden 2012.

    May 21, 2012 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  11. AM

    @JC: I don't discount companies for making profits, I don't think anyone does (even if Fox and Rush/Beck try and convince us they do)...what I do take issue with is shipping all jobs overseas to pay people $2 a day so they can make bigger profits, and CEOs and C-level execs making millions upon millions while their workers are paid next to nothing. Then when the company goes belly up, they get their golden parachute while eveyone else loses their life savings and entire retirement. That's where "capitalism" turns into nothing more than greed. companies don't want to do the right thing, they just want to make more and more money at the expense of those "lower" than them.

    May 21, 2012 09:21 am at 9:21 am |

    Mayor Booker spoke honestly...kudos to him! ~However, I disagree with him regarding Bain. I believe that confronting Romney on his record at Bain, and ESPECIALLY him storing money in the Caymans and elsewhere, is totally fair! OBAMA/BIDEN 2012!!!

    May 21, 2012 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  13. Alina1

    It's bad out there. In the beginning President Obama was a nice guy, and in being so he got slammed by the radical right controlled Republicans. So, with this being the case, I want the President to do what ever it takes to win, even if he gets down and dirty.

    Our future depends on him winning re-election.

    May 21, 2012 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  14. Disgusted

    People in other countries ask "why can't you elect a government that looks after the people?". Well, its because we get sidetracked on getting nasty about smaller issues.

    And b/c of our campaign finance laws. In Europe they do not permit corporations to give money to candidates and if they get elected and are found out to have accepted money from corporations, they are not allowed to take office. If another counry elected leaders like this, we would not hesitate to call it corrupt.

    May 21, 2012 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  15. gt

    amen...both sides are home wreckers....they dont care if the country goes to hell as long as there party wins...

    May 21, 2012 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  16. Granger

    This guy's a "surogate," for the Obama administration; his statement in the morning contradicts what he was "told," to say in the afternoon.....liar...just like Obama.

    May 21, 2012 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  17. Stoney

    Finally, a democrat who isn't talking emotionally. He seems rational.

    May 21, 2012 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  18. Observer

    Romney campaigns on his Job creation at Bain "I have worked in the actual economy, i know how the actual economy works, I created Jobs" We have to examine Romney sole argument for Job creation .......BAIN. Booker was wrong on Meet The Press. He has clarified his stance now... however the country needs to debate Capitalism. Afterall, it is what brought our economy on its knees and renedered millions out of work and loose not only their homes but retirement too. What kind of capitalism do we prefer....and secondly corporate welfare.... why are tax payers on the hook for Bank loses.....CAPITALISM.....CORPORATE WELFARE!!!!!!!!! This money would have been better spent building roads.

    May 21, 2012 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  19. anoel2005

    FINALLY, one of Obama's own ( Booker) tells the truth.

    Vote Romney for JOBS.
    Vote Obama for more DEBT.

    May 21, 2012 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  20. sbssue1

    Gotta laugh......all those on the left are crying because we have successful people in our country. If it weren't for the successful people and the taxes they pay, the others wouldn't be receiving their handouts....... Think people.......I think maybe trailer trash should run our country......what then? Stupid to think any different. Folks are just plain jealous of anyone who has made something of himself. Jealousy will get you no where.

    May 21, 2012 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  21. vbscript2

    " '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.' "

    Good for him. Sounds like he should become a Republican, since Obama has been indicting private equity since his 2008 campaign. The truth is, this kind of rhetoric SHOULD make anyone with any knowledge of history and economics uncomfortable. Unfortunately, the Obama campaign knows that most voters have little-to-no such knowledge and has been stooping to demagoguery since his 2008 campaign... and unfortunately it worked for a while. People started to wake up a little by the 2010 election, but it's vitally important for our country that people don't fall for his nonsense again this November.

    May 21, 2012 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  22. asdf

    Gotta love Booker. He'll make a great VP candidate or gubernatorial candidate in a decade or so. Honest and down to earth, without all the sarcasm and cynicism of Christie. If we had more people willing to say what they think rather than what the party thinks in our gov., we would probably be better off. Also if we had more dems like Booker who are willing to admit that some gov. spending is wasteful, they would be a much more attractive party.

    Although for anybody interested, there is a VERY funny web video of Booker and Christie making light of Booker's headlines...It actually somewhat restored my faith in bi-partisanism.

    May 21, 2012 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  23. g

    bain economics would finish off whats left of the middle class

    May 21, 2012 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  24. Anonymous


    Romney and Booker supporting Fox News watchers who have posted here did not disappoint

    They never disappoint. What's worse, do you think? That they actually watch Fox News, or that they truly believe the Fox News propaganda they're repeating IS truth? We're talking Steve Doocy and Gretchen Carlson ... !

    May 21, 2012 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  25. 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 pre-teen girl. Defending pedophilia and 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 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
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