Axelrod chides Booker for defending Romney
May 21st, 2012
02:50 PM ET
11 years ago

Axelrod chides Booker for defending Romney

(CNN) - David Axelrod, the president's senior campaign strategist, scorned fellow Democrat and Obama supporter Cory Booker after the Newark mayor defended Mitt Romney this weekend.

"In this particular instance, he was just wrong" Axelrod said Monday in an interview with MSNBC.

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Following a week of intense attacks from Obama's team over Romney's former private equity firm, Bain Capital, Booker on Sunday described the criticism as "nauseating" and called for an end to negative campaigning. The mayor also referenced scrutiny of Bain from some within Romney's own party.

"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 said on NBC's "Meet the Press."

Shortly after his interview, however, the rising Democratic star released a web video walking back his remarks and saying examination of Romney's corporate background was fair game.

"It is reasonable, and in fact I encourage it, for the Obama campaign to examine that record and discuss it. I have no problem with that," Booker said.

On Monday, Axelrod emphasized the mayor was "wrong" with his earlier comments. Asked if Booker was contacted by someone in the campaign or the White House over his original remarks, Axelrod said, "Well I think he probably heard from a lot of people who feel that it's a legitimate issue."

Axelrod said Romney frequently talks about his experience in the private sector and made the case that the firm should be a fair target in Romney's record.

"People admire success, they understand that business succeed and businesses fail, but what they don't like is when people at the top walk away with enormous riches and people down the line are left holding the bag," Axelrod said.

On Monday, Obama's campaign again went on the Bain offensive, releasing a new documentary-style video showcasing the stories of three workers laid off from Ampad, a paper plant that went bankrupt after being bought out by Bain.

Romney has repeatedly fended off jabs over Bain. Last week, he said Obama's campaign was committing "character assassination" and argued his former firm's job was to invest in companies and make them grow.

"There's this fiction that some have that somehow you can be highly successful by stripping assets from enterprise and walking away with lots of money and killing the enterprise. There may be some people who know how to do that. I sure don't," Romney said in Florida.

Bain also responded on Monday, releasing a statement decrying the recent ads and touting the firm's successes.

"Despite political attacks that emphasize the few companies that have struggled, the facts are that during Bain Capital's ownership, revenues grew in 80 percent of the more than 350 companies in which we have invested," the statement read.

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

Filed under: 2012 • Cory Booker • David Axelrod • Mitt Romney • President Obama
soundoff (57 Responses)
  1. keric

    Barrack is a con artist. The only one he can finally point the finger of blame at is himself
    Dems controlled congress last 4 yrs of Bush, and still controls Senate. Best move for America us to impeach this embarassement sitting in the white house.
    Brst example fo today: watch gwb speech after capturing Saddam, then watch Bho speech after killing obl. BUSH: Credits others, never mentions I word.
    Barrack: I I I I I I...(someone please pat me on the back) I I I I.
    def no presudent of mine

    May 21, 2012 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  2. Another Day in the RW Idiot Mines

    "My eyes see VERY clearly thank you. Just what do you take issue with? Why bother posting the usual factless responses like this?"

    No you don't, and you don't listen well either. Your factless lies about "Obama's debt" have been destroyed over and over yet you come back for more.

    May 21, 2012 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  3. Matt

    Why do democrats condemn Booker. He shared an opinion... that is correct. Bain put its own money behind FAILING companies. Obama put taxpayer money behind failing companies.

    Bain saved a vast majority of the companies that it invested in. The one example that Obama tried to use against Romney is deceptive because Romney had already left Bain TWO YEARS previously and the guy in charge IS IN OBAMA's ADMINISTRATION.

    Booker will still support Obama (although I can't understand why). Axelrod is just mad that Booker was honest –because Axelrod can't be.

    May 21, 2012 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  4. Another Day in the RW Idiot Mines

    DOH! Responded to the wrong poster. My bad. However, as usual ben dover is wrong again, unless a rising DOW, a decreasing unemployment rate and a dead bin-Laden are signs of "failure." I'm beginning to understand, however, why his GOBP cult has such a problem "succeeding" in helping America. They don't understand the meanings of success and failure.

    May 21, 2012 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  5. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Booker spoke his mind.
    I haven't seen a Rethuglikkklan do that since January 20th, 2009 for fear of being disowned, and tar and feathered by their Party.

    May 21, 2012 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  6. Obama supporter turned Romney supporter

    a reasonable person comes out for a second and they are silenced. Booker why do you shy away from the right thing to do? im tired of this. obama had his shot give romney a go. 70% success rate is almost impoosible in the real world

    May 21, 2012 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  7. FLIndpendent

    @Ray E – "Trouble in Paradise??? There is no doubt that Romney will be much better for the Economy than Obama. The conservative plan is what it has always been. Long before all the Big Social Programs were put in place the Country did quite well."

    So, you're saying that people were better off before Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, etc? I can bet you're one that most likely collects SS and has Medicare – am I right? Are you willing to give that up? Nobody wants to go back to the days before these programs, so get real!

    May 21, 2012 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
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