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Booker walks back criticism of Obama campaign tactics

 

Newark Mayor Cory Booker released a video on Sunday emphasizing his support for President Obama's re-election after condemning some the president's re-election tactics as "nauseating."

Booker said in a video posted to YouTube that he believed it was appropriate to fully vet Mitt Romney's private sector record, clarifying his head-turning comments this morning on "Meet the Press," on which he decried the Obama campaign's attacks on Romney due to an instance in which a company acquired by Bain Capital, which Romney cofounded, ended up in bankruptcy.

"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 during a roundtable on the program, referencing also the plan mulled by a Republican super PAC to link the president to a controversial pastor. 

Mayor of Newark, N.J., Cory Booker, Republican strategist Mike Murphy, CNBC's Jim Cramer, and the Wall Street Journal's Kim Strassel weighs in on the campaigns, economic worries, battling on capitol hill and other issues of political merit.

The remark was a badly off-script tangent for Booker, who's regarded as a rising star within the Democratic Party, and an effective surrogate for Obama. The president's re-election campaign had worked all week to drive a message painting Romney's experience at Bain as primarily motivated by profits at all costs, rather than the expertise on job creation that Romney has sought to project. 

Booker's video, released late Sunday afternoon, doesn't renounce his comments made on "Meet the Press," but it does describe the Obama campaign's scrutiny of Romney's business record as appropriate. 

"I made it clear on 'Meet the Press' this morning how I feel President Barack Obama has done such a strong job as leader of our nation, and more than deserves re-election," Booker said. 

"I also professed, on 'Meet the Press,' my profound frustration with the kind of campaigning that I think that is becoming too much of the norm in our nation — which is generally negative campaigning. And this campaigning is about to become an avalanche, and in many ways, I believe, could potentially risk muting out the important voices of the candidates themselves talking about the issues that matter," he added, referencing the millions spent by outside super PACs on campaign advertising. 

And of Romney's Bain record, Booker said: "Let me be clear: Mitt Romney has made his business record a centerpiece of his campaign … and therefore, it is reasonable — and in fact, I encourage it for the Obama campaign — to examine that record and to discuss it. I have no problem with that."