Newark Mayor Cory Booker went on the Rachel Maddow show Monday night to reaffirm his support of President Obama after the RNC used his comments about Bain Capital as a fundraising tool Monday afternoon. On "Meet the Press" Sunday morning, Booker said he was "uncomfortable" with the Obama campaign's portrayal of Bain Capital, comments he then walked back in a video message Sunday evening. The RNC called on Americans to "Stand With Cory" on Monday afternoon, suggesting that he had been coerced by the Obama campaign to walk back his initial comments. It was the RNC's use of Booker's statements to attack Obama that Booker said prompted him to set the record straight Monday night.
Booker directly addressed the idea that the Obama campaign had forced him to retract his comments on "Meet the Press," saying that the clarification that followed was his idea.
"The reality is," Booker said, that the Obama political team has "never pressured me to do anything. They've done nothing but encourage me."
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 was bragging about his job creation record. To me I think that's fair game. All those things made me say, "you know what, I need to go on and clarify..."
Booker followed up the appearance with a series of tweets affirming that he stands with Obama, including this one:
Let me be clear, #IStandWithObama— Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) May 22, 2012
Watch the interview here: