Tales from the Trail

Republicans accuse Obama campaign of “dishonest cover-up”

The RNC is out with a new video accusing President Obama’s re-election team of covering up an attempt to pressure Newark Mayor Cory Booker into walking back his critique of their campaign tactics.

On Sunday, Booker told NBC’s “Meet the Press” that he was “very uncomfortable with” some of the attacks on Mitt Romney’s record at Bain Capital, a strategy he said he found “nauseating.” Within hours, Booker released a video on his YouTube page revising his remarks. “Mitt Romney has made his business record a centerpiece of his campaign,” he says in the video. “And therefore it is reasonable — and in fact I encourage it — for the Obama campaign to examine that record and discuss it.”

Today’s RNC video, titled “Dishonest Attacks, Dishonest Cover-up,” shows a clip of Obama campaign Press Secretary Ben LaBolt claiming that Booker was not asked to backtrack on his remarks, followed by a clip of Booker affirming that he had communicated with members of Obama’s campaign team after his “Meet the Press” interview.

Asked on CNN yesterday whether anyone in the Obama campaign “reached out to fix this,” LaBolt said Booker “released that video of his own volition…the campaign did not ask him to do so.”

A few hours later, Booker went on TV and explained that he had indeed spoken to Team Obama — although he didn’t say they explicitly asked him to “expand” on his comments:

Chris Christie, Cory Booker do sketch comedy for Jersey press corps

New Jersey’s Republican governor, Chris Christie, and Newark’s Democratic mayor, Cory Booker, joined forces for a comic video they debuted last night at the New Jersey Press Association’s annual Legislative Correspondents Club Show.

The skit plays on Booker’s reputation for valiance (thanks to his famed rescue of a neighbor from fire and for shoveling snow for Newark residents), with Booker edging out Christie on one heroic good deed after another. “Booker!” grumbles Christie each time, echoing Jerry Seinfeld’s aggrieved “Newman!” But there’s one act of heroism only Christie, in the video, can do: join Romney as running mate.

Watch, via Christie’s YouTube page:

Newark mayor campaigns for Obama, hits Romney’s “business experience”

Newark Mayor Cory Booker, campaigning in New Hampshire for President Obama, lit into one of Republican Mitt Romney’s main arguments for his candidacy: his business experience.

The former Massachusetts governor rarely misses an opportunity to remind voters that he spent “25 years in the private sector” and “understands the real economy,” unlike President Obama.

Booker took issue with that argument after a stump speech for Obama in Plymouth, N.H., and made his point by singling out fellow Democrat and former New Jersey Governor and ex-Goldman Sachs CEO Jon Corzine, who is at the center of the collapse of brokerage firm MF Global.