Cory Booker Trashes the GOP But Implicitly Stands Behind Bain

On Rachel Maddow, Cory Booker backed Obama, blamed the GOP, and more interestingly, implicitly stood behind Bain.

Here’s the video from MSNBC:

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Mayor Booker stuck by Obama, but most interestingly also implicitly stood with Bain,

The reality is the Barack Obama team in the White House and their political team have been good to me for many many years. I’ve worked with them early in the primaries in the last election. They have never pressured me to do anything. They’ve done nothing but encourage me, and in this case in particular, I certainly did talk with campaign officials, but they didn’t force me to do anything. They had good conversations with me and after having conversations with them, especially after hearing the president’s remarks on this issue where he was not condemning all of private equity. He was not condemning any particular firms. He was focusing in on a guy who’s bragging about his job creation record. To me, I think that’s fair game. All of those things make me say you know what? I need to go on and clarify, because obviously I did things in the Meet The Press interview as I told you that did not land the points that I was trying to make.

And in some ways, frustratingly, I think I conflated the attacks that the Republicans were making with Jeremiah Wright with some of the attacks on the left, and those can’t even be equated. The noxious nature of some of the attacks that we’ve seen to be going on our president, where you poll many people in the GOP who still believe he is a secret Muslim and these other things. It’s gotten so ridiculous. You can’t even equate the negativity on the right with what’s happening by some sectors on the left.

What Mayor Booker was saying was that he is a hardcore progressive who supports Obama, but he also is like many other politicians in his region, dependent on political contributions from Wall Street and the financial sector for his campaign war chest. According to Think Progress, back in 2002 Booker and his fundraising committees received $565,000 from venture capitalists, investors, and Wall Street bankers. Bain donated $36,000 to Booker.

This explains Booker’s suddenly being fine with Obama’s ad because it did not attack “private equity or any particular firms.” Booker thought the ad was an attack on Bain, which explains his negative reaction on Meet The Press. Mayor Booker was ready to stand with the Obama, but not at the cost of losing his campaign cash cow.

Booker than tried to claim that he conflated the Bain ad with the right’s obsession with Rev. Wright. On one level he could have been expressing his disgust with negative campaigning, but in order to conflate Wright and Bain, Booker would have to subscribe at some level subconscious or otherwise to the theory that corporations are people.

Cory Booker is textbook example of insidious nature of our campaign financing system and the influence of corporate dollars. The mayor is widely viewed as a Democratic Party rising star. He is a hardcore progressive, but he also takes Wall Street dollars. People who want to drum Cory Booker out of the Democratic Party are missing the bigger point.

If the Democrats were to drum every elected official and candidate out of the party who took corporate money (Chuck Schumer, John Kerry, etc.), there wouldn’t be any Democrats left. Both sides take corporate money, but the Republicans are the party who carry out and cherish an overtly pro-corporate agenda.

Cory Booker is a good mayor, but when he perceived a choice between supporting his party and his campaign finance mechanism, he took the money. The choice Booker made on Meet The Press is reflective of the poisoned state of our politics. If you want good progressives like Cory Booker to stop defending Bain, get the corporate money out of our electoral system.

Until elections are publicly funded and the corporate money is gone, our democracy will never truly belong to the people.

5 Replies to “Cory Booker Trashes the GOP But Implicitly Stands Behind Bain”

  1. The truth is that the damage is done, and his words have become a feature of the Romney campaign. He can’t not have foreseen their effects. Furthermore, I suspect this campaign is going to feature many more like him, paid truly tempting sums of money to turn coat. We have only begun to see how rotten things are going to get.

  2. Booker is nothing short of a snake oil politician! I’ve learned in recent days he’s a prodigous fundraiser getting a bulk of his funding not from Newark but Manhattan Wall Street investment bankers. Follow the money and you’ll find the true Mayor Cory Booker. What’s fascinating is the lukewarm endorsements Romney has received from so many GOP’ers.

    Mayor Booker should really give serious thought to switching to the Grand Old Party because I quite frankly find him nauseating…

  3. I watched the original Maddow show in its entirety, and I saw no evidence of Cory Booker “standing behind Bain” implicitly or otherwise.

  4. It’s all about money for Cory Booker. And nothing else. He, like many other incumbent politicians would cut off their own left arm, rather than speak negatively on big money interests. For shame.

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