Cory Booker, the mayor of Newark, New Jersey, is a rising star in the Democratic party. He’s in trouble with Democrats now, though, for objecting to the Obama campaign’s attack on Mitt Romney’s old private-equity firm, Bain Capital.
Mayor Cory Booker of Newark, a close ally of President Obama in the upcoming election, slammed the president’s campaign Sunday for ads attacking Mitt Romney’s work for the private-equity firm Bain Capital.
Booker, who noted that many of his constituents are investors in or employees of New York-based financial firms, said it was wrong for the Obama campaign to portray the expected Republican nominee as someone who pursued profits by slashing jobs while serving as Bain’s chief executive.
“If you look at the totality of Bain Capital’s record, they’ve done a lot to support businesses, to grow businesses,” Booker said during an appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “And this, to me, I’m very uncomfortable with.”
The mayor later released a YouTube video in which he tried to clarify his comments and emphasize his support for the president.
Booker’s remarks earlier Sunday were aimed at a television advertisement introduced by the Obama campaign last week that sharply criticized Romney’s record at Bain — a line of attack seen as central in an election whose outcome is expected to be shaped by voters’ economic concerns.
Bain would buy up troubled companies and either get them up and running again or sell off their assets. Jobs were sometimes created and sometimes lost. But dying companies are going to lose their jobs eventually anyway. Still, it’s easy to portray companies in this line of work and their executives with vulture imagery and to bring out people who have lost their jobs in the corporate takeover and put them on TV, as the Obama ads have been doing.
Mayor Booker is rejecting the demagoguery, as well as recognizing that corporate tycoons are big contributors to Democratic coffers. (Though now Booker has apparently been pressured to back off his criticism.)
Is portraying Romney as a corporate villain a winning or a losing issue for Democrats? Or, conversely, is nominating a corporate executive in a bad economy with high unemployment a winning or losing issue for Republicans?