Obama supporter takes campaign to task for negative advertising

politics | May 21, 2012 | By Martin Barillas

The mayor of Newark NJ, Cory Booker criticized a political advertisement used by President Barack Obama's re-election campaign that slammed Republican Mitt Romney's record at Bain Capital. Booker, who supported Obama's initial presidential candidacy, called for an end to such"nauseating" attacks.

"I have to just say from a very personal level, I'm not about to sit here and indict private equity," said Democrat Booker on NBC's "Meet The Press" on May 20. "To me, it's just we're getting to a ridiculous point in America. Especially that I know I live in a state where pension funds, unions and other people invest 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."

Released last week by Obama's campaign, the advertisement made Booker "very uncomfortable," he said. "This kind of stuff is nauseating to me on both sides," Booker continued. "It's nauseating to the American public. Enough is enough. Stop attacking private equity. Stop attacking Jeremiah Wright. This stuff has got to stop, because what it does is it undermines, to me, what this country should be focused on. It's a distraction from the real issues."

After Sunday's "Meet The Press" broadcast, Booker took to Twitter and YouTube-to clarify his comments. "I will fight hard for Obama to win," Booker tweeted. "But just as his '08 campaign did, I believe we must elevate [and] not denigrate. This is the Obama I know."

"We as 'the electorate' must also bear responsibility for changing the tone of politics as usual," he continued. "Not just root harder for our side ... I'm sick to my stomach of the politics of destruction. We now have a [federal government] that can't come together [and] solve our nation's problems. I'll always prioritize my nation over a political party. [And] right now crass divisive partisan politics is not serving the citizens of my city." "Yes, Obama must be re-elected. But we as a Nation owe it to him and ourselves to reject politics as usual," Booker added. "The politics as we are now playing it calls to our lesser angels [and] lowest common denominators. Our nation can and should reject this."

On YouTube, Booker expanded on his fealty to Obama. On Meet the Press, Booker expressed his "profound frustration with the kind of campaigning that has become too much of the norm in our nation." The Obama advert in question had depicted Romney as a "vampire."

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Spero News writer Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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