Obama Campaign Does Damage Control After Dems Question Anti-Bain StrategyThe Obama campaign is in full damage-control mode
one day after Newark Mayor Cory Booker publicly derided Democrats’ assault on presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney over his record at Bain Capital.
Chief Obama strategist David Axelrod today publicly rebuked Booker, a popular and high-profile surrogate for the campaign, saying he was “just wrong.”
“I love Cory Booker. He’s a great mayor. If I were, if my house was on fire, I’d hope he were my next door neighbor,” Axelrod said on MSNBC, referring to Booker’s rescue of a neighbor last month.
“I agree with what he said later. I think this was a legitimate area for discussion,” Axelrod said of Booker’s subsequent comments clarifying the issue.
As for the criticism that the Team Obama’s Bain attack is part of “nauseating” political discourse with which Booker has become “very uncomfortable,” Axelrod said, “on this particular instance he was just wrong.”
Booker is not the only Democrat to question the aggressive, negative portrayal of Romney’s work in private equity. Former Tennessee Rep. Harold Ford Jr. said today he agreed with “the substance” of Booker’s comments and “would not have backed out.”
“I agree with him, private equity is not a bad thing. Matter of fact, private equity is a good thing in many, many instances,”
the Democrat said in a separate appearance on MSNBC earlier in the day.
Former Obama administration economic adviser Steven Rattner made similar comments last week, calling a new Obama campaign TV ad attacking Romney’s role in the bankruptcy of a Bain-owned steel company “unfair.”“Bain Capital’s responsibility was not to create 100,000 jobs or some other number. It was to create profits for its investors,” Rattner said. ”‘It did it superbly well, acting within the rules, acting very responsibly. … This is part of capitalism, this is part of life. I don’t think there’s anything Bain Capital did that they need to be embarrassed about.”
Republicans have been gleeful with the apparent divide among Democrats over the portrayal of Romney’s Bain days. The Romney campaign produced a web video – “Big Bain Backfire
” – highlighting the comments, while the Republican National Committee purchased ads on Twitter to play up the Booker flap.“President Obama’s attacks on free enterprise have triggered a backlash among many, even among those in his own party,” Romney spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg said. “With no record to run on, it is no surprise that the Obama campaign has resorted to misleading attacks that have been disavowed by its own supporters.”