Cory Booker may want to hire a food taster. The Newark Mayor, a Democrat, dared to disagree on Sunday with the Obama campaign’s attacks on Bain Capital and the private-equity business, and the liberal orthodoxy machine has been busy delivering retribution.
Mr. Booker uttered his apostasy on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” calling out both Presidential campaigns for what he called a “nauseating” focus on side issues. He deplored attacks on President Obama for his long-ago association with the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, but he added that “I have to just say, from a very personal level, I’m not about to sit here and indict private equity. . . . Especially that I know I live in a state where pension funds, unions and other people are investing 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.”
Judging by the reaction, you’d think the 43-year-old Mayor had come out for lower tax rates or converted to Mormonism. The liberal media are pounding him, while David Axelrod, the chief strategist for the Obama campaign, went on the air to scold Mr. Booker as “just wrong” and that “there are specific instances here that speak to an economic theory that isn’t the right economic theory for the country.” Translation: If the campaign is going to successfully demonize Mitt Romney as a marauding capitalist, it can’t have fellow Democrats defending capitalism.
Mr. Booker attempted to clarify his remarks later on Sunday with a four-minute online video that repeated his criticism of divisive campaign tactics. The Obama team then sent out a highly selective clip of this video that erroneously makes it sound as if Mr. Booker supports its assault on private equity.
The Obama campaign’s attacks on Bain haven’t gone very well, in part because the claims are so transparently cynical. Everyone knows they’re cherry-picking facts, focusing on the rare Bain Capital failures while ignoring the successesâ€”all in order to distract attention from the failed results of Mr. Obama’s economic policies. Presidents who have to take their own party allies to the woodshed for the offense of telling the truth don’t tend to win re-election.
Like a chastened child, Booker has been backtracking. He know what happens when you anger the God.