Though tagging Mitt Romney as a greedy corporate raider has become a favorite Obama campaign attack, one Obama surrogate isn't happy with attacks on private equity.
“I have to just say, from a very personal level, I'm not about to sit here and indict private equity,” said Newark Mayor Cory Booker on NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday.
Booker’s comments came in response to an ad produced by the Obama campaign that accused Bain Capital, and by proxy, Romney, of engaging in “vampire” capitalism and sucking the life out of a once-healthy steel plant. Booker said that he was “uncomfortable” with attacks on private equity, going so far as to defend Bain Capital.
“We're getting to a ridiculous point in America," he said, adding that "I live in a state where pension funds, unions and other people are investing in companies like Bain Capital. If you look at the totality of Bain Capital's record, they've done a lot to support businesses, to grow businesses.”
Booker called the attacks on private equity and Obama’s former pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, “nauseating,” saying that the focus on those issues on the campaign trail “undermines, to me, what this country should be focused on.”
“It's a distraction from the real issues," he said. "It's either going to be a small campaign about this crap or its going to be a big campaign, in my opinion, about the issues the American public cares about.”
After his appearance, Booker released a video on YouTube to clarify his comments, expressing strong support for Obama and condemning negative campaigning.