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Newark Mayor Cory Booker did more damage control, after Republicans launched a campaign called "I stand with Cory."
Newark Mayor Cory Booker hit back on Monday at the Republican petition drive called "I stand with Cory" which capitalized on Booker's comments on Sunday when he called the anti-Bain Obama campaign ad "nauseating," according to USA Today.
Speaking to MSNBC's Rachel Maddow, Booker said, "Here they are are plucking soundbites out of that interview to manipulate them in a cynical manner, to use them for their own purposes." He continued, "I'm very upset that I'm being used by the GOP this way."
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The petition launched by the Republican National Committee said, "Yesterday New Jersey Mayor Cory Booker, a surrogate spokesman for the Obama campaign called the president's attacks on the free market 'ridiculous'. That's right Mr. President, we aren't going to let you destroy free enterprise. Stand up for America. Stand up for job creators."
Booker tweeted in response:
Let me be clear, #IStandWithObama
— Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) May 22, 2012
When Booker initially made his comments on "Meet the Press," he said he was "very uncomfortable" with the Obama campaign's focus on Republican candidate Mitt Romney's tenure at Bain Capital, a private equity firm.
After feeling a backlash from the left, Booker released a four minute video clarifying his comments, which he continued to do on MSNBC with Maddow, saying, "When [Romney] says, I'm a job creator, I think that's a characterization of his record that deserves inquiry, and I think the way the president himself is talking about is something I will defend, in fact something I will echo."
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President Obama himself defended the ad campaign, speaking at a press conference after the NATO summit in Chicago. He said, "This issue is not a distraction. This is what this campaign is going to be about."
He continued, "If your main argument for how to grow the economy is 'I knew how to make a lot of money for investors,' then you're missing what this job is about," according to Yahoo News. "It doesn't mean you weren't good at private equity, but that's not what my job is as president. My job is to take into account everybody, not just some. My job is to make sure that the country is growing not just now, but ten years from now and 20 years from now."
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Here is Booker's appearance on Maddow's show: