October 26th, 2012
11:46 AM ET
10 years ago

Booker: Sununu's comment was 'unfortunate'

(CNN) - Newark Mayor Cory Booker, a top surrogate for President Barack Obama's campaign, said Friday that a surrogate for Mitt Romney made the wrong call when he argued Colin Powell endorsed Obama because they shared the same race.

"Whatever he meant or not, it was a statement that is unfortunate and just reflects a lack of understanding and sensitivity," Booker said on CNN's "Starting Point with Soledad O'Brien."

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He added: "He's gotten himself in a jam and he's going to wear that jam for a while."

Speaking on CNN's "Piers Morgan Tonight," Romney surrogate John Sununu on Thursday downplayed the importance of the former secretary of state's endorsement, pointing to the support Romney's received from former President George H.W. Bush. He went on to explain that Powell's endorsement of Obama didn't rely solely on the political issues at hand.

"When you take a look at Colin Powell, you have to look at whether that's an endorsement based on issues or he's got a slightly different reason for endorsing President Obama," Sununu said, adding: "I think when you have somebody of your own race that you're proud of being president of the United States, I applaud Colin for standing with him."

Later, Sununu released a statement saying "Colin Powell is a friend and I respect the endorsement decision he made and I do not doubt that it was based on anything but his support of the President's policies."

Booker on Friday said the "responsible thing to do" would be for the Romney campaign to issue their own statement.

"But the one thing I don't like about our political culture is we take one person's comments–stupid or not–and then we just try to spread it out and lay it over anything," Booker said. "Mitt Romney didn't say this, so it's the kind of thing for me that's just a dumb comment."

Booker was in the spotlight himself earlier this year for criticizing his own party's attacks against Romney's corporate career and saying political language used on both sides of the aisle is "nauseating." He later walked back his remarks.

Rep. Pete Sessions of Texas, who chairs the National Republican Congressional Committee, also weighed in on Sununu's comments on "Starting Point." Asked if he thought Powell voted for Obama because of race, Sessions sad, "no, I think you would have to ask Colin Powell."

"You could say that I endorse Mitt Romney, but that's not just because I'm a white man," Sessions continued. "We all have things which we're for, which we support. Colin Powell believes the president is heading down the right path. I simply disagree on this issue with Colin Powell."

Filed under: 2012 • Cory Booker • John Sununu
soundoff (113 Responses)
  1. High Way

    Colin Powell endorses Obama not because he is black but because Obama is centrist left and Colin Powell could identify with part of Obama's policies. With Mitt, being an extremist conservative in the primaries and then morph into a temporary moderate for the elections and then back again when elections are over? How can person of the integrity of Colin Powell, who is a centrist right, relate to a person that has no positions or character of a stable person like Mitt? Very dangerous with a person like Mitt. Imagine an unstable person in control of the most powerful army in the world? It spells troubles.

    October 26, 2012 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  2. Nadia

    John Sununu knew exactly what he was saying. Just a angry man that brought misery to New Hampshire.

    October 26, 2012 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  3. Sniffit

    "I find it fascinating that blacks even vote democratic. Do you all recall the term "Dixie Democrats"...which was the movement with the Democrat Party in the South aligned to states rights and keeping segregation in place. Look it up."

    And then time, being time, continued to tick and we arrived in the 1960's and the "Dixie Dems" left the Dem party in response to the Civil Rights Act and joined the GOP, birthing the current racist, bigotted, religio-fascist GOP/Teatrolls we suffer today. Anytime you want to stop pretending that history folded in on itself and that the 1870's through 1980's never happend, you just let us know.

    October 26, 2012 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  4. Babs

    Sununu, Coulter, Malkin, D'Souza et al. The names are interchangeable because they all spew venom!!!

    October 26, 2012 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  5. Guest

    Colin Powell himself said his decision wasnt entirely colorblind...infer what you like but it's pretty obvious. Washington Post saying largest percentage of whites ever voting for Romney and suggesting racism but you wont hear them say 90%+ blacks voting for Obama and making the same suggestion! Double standard media Obama lovefest. His failed policies is why people are turning on him!

    October 26, 2012 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  6. Nadia

    Amen Barak Lincoln!
    Your post speaks the truth.

    October 26, 2012 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  7. dsangiovanni

    I think these people must keep their mouth shut if they want to wing, including Romney by the way...

    October 26, 2012 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  8. wellywellup

    It is all a game, Romney has other people say what he can't but knows plays well to his base. He supports the extreme anti women bull that the repubs spew and supports racism and has others say it for him. He supports the birther movement and that wack job Trump. He has others say what he believes, stands back and says, I didn't say it but I support their right to say it.

    October 26, 2012 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  9. White JJ

    Wait, so it is wrong to call out the obvious?

    I don't understand the current logic going on in the US. A black person votes for a black candidate simply because of his skin color its ok? A white person votes for anyone besides the black candidate and they are racist? God forbid a white person says they are voting for a white candidate because they are white.

    October 26, 2012 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  10. The Film Professor

    Sununu is a Republican version of Joe Biden, but not nearly as likeable. Both seem to constantly have a problem with a foot finding it's way into their mouth.

    October 26, 2012 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  11. What's New-New?

    John Sununu, Mitt Romney's campaign co-chair is like nuclear waste. You get sick just being near it.

    October 26, 2012 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  12. High Way

    Remember people. Mistakes that the republican candidates makes during the elections, most are ready to back track on their mistakes because they don't want to lose your votes but if elected then watchout. With power in their hands they won't hesitate to ram down your throats their beliefs and values. Voters beware.

    October 26, 2012 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  13. curious

    Blacks are voting for President Obama in the same percentages they have voted for all previous democratic presidential candiates. Only racists (that don't want to be marketed as racists) claim that blacks are supporting the President because he is black. Let Clarence Thomas run for office. Black people remember the republican tactics of political division demonstrated as Willie Horton, welfare queens, busing, affirmative action and birthers.

    October 26, 2012 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
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