After Newark Mayor Cory Booker drew the media glare for criticizing the Obama campaign’s attacks on Mitt Romney’s record with firm Bain Capital, reporters have dug through Booker’s own campaign contributions to discover that he received $36,000 from Bain Capital during his 2002 mayoral run—and a total of more than $565,000 from Wall Street financiers.
While it’s not surprising for politicians, particularly in the Northeast, to receive campaign contributions from Wall Street, it is embarrassing for Booker that the contributions were revealed by reporters digging through his past. Had Booker simply disclosed during his appearance on “Meet the Press” that he had received contributions from Wall Streeters, including the employees of Bain Capital, the story would have taken a much different turn. But now Booker is forced to explain his motives in defending Wall Street at the expense of President Obama.
But Republicans are already trying to employ Booker’s words in their own defense of Romney’s business record, starting a petition drive with the title “I Stand With Cory.”
Booker sent out a tweet that said “Let me be clear, #IStandWithObama,” then he went on MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Show last night to try to take the offensive against the Romney team.
“Here they are are plucking soundbites out of that interview to manipulate them in a cynical manner, to use them for their own purposes,” Booker said on MSNBC. “I’m very upset that I’m being used by the GOP this way.”
Booker said the Obama campaign had not pressured him—as many had speculated—into posting a contrite video on YouTube after his “Meet the Press” appearance reiterating his support for the president.
“Anybody in the GOP wants to stand with me, please stand with me. Stand with me for marriage equality, as Barack Obama stands up for,” he said. “Stand with me for not turning the clock back on women in terms of medical issues, like Barack Obama is standing again. Stand with me on making health care more accessible to all. Stand with me for making college more affordable as President Obama is doing.”