Yes, Newark Mayor Cory Booker said something stupid, and even though Booker issued a reversal, the Republicans turned it around and used it to their advantage. It’s not the first time a Democrat has said a thing and the Republicans used it, and it won’t be the last time.
President Obama was asked about the brief disagreement today while at the NATO summit in Chicago, and he summarized the entire subject of Bain Capital in an way that only he can. He hit it out of the park.
Cory Booker is an outstanding mayor, but it is important to recognize this issue is not a distraction. This is part of the debate we will be having in this campaign about how do we create an economy where everybody from top to bottom, folks on wall street and main street, have a shot at success.
Understand that their priority is to maximize profits. That is not always going to be good for communities or businesses or workers. The reason this is relevant to the campaign is because my opponent, Governor Romney, his main calling card for why he thinks he should be president is his business experience. He is not touting his experience in massachusetts. He is saying he is a business guy, and this is his business.
When you are president as opposed to the head of a private equity firm, your job is not simply to maximize profits. Your job is to figure out how everybody in the country gets a fair shot.
If your main argument for how to grow in the economy is ‘I knew how to make a lot of money for investors’, then you are missing what this job is about. That does not mean you are not good at private equity. That is not what my job is as president. My job is to take into account everybody, not just some.
It was a limited question and it could have invoked a limited response, but the president used the opportunity to take ownership of the entire debate and steer it in a new direction, and he did so in a way that is easily related to the average American.
It’s worth noting that the president also used this opportunity, as the whole world was watching, to issue another unsolicited repudiation of trickle-down economics.
I have no doubt President Obama will demolish Mitt Romney during the presidential debates in the fall.