Newark Mayor Cory Booker Backpedals on Obama Criticism

Newark Mayor Cory Booker is backpedaling from comments he made criticizing President Barack Obama’s campaign for its attack ads – initially calling them “nauseating” and a “distraction.”

Speaking on “Meet the Press” on Sunday, Booker ripped the negative campaign ad criticizing GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney’s experience of running private equity firm Bain Capital.

“Enough is enough,” Booker said. “Stop attacking private equity, stop attacking Jeremiah Wright. This stuff has got to stop because what it does is it undermines, to me, what this country should be focused on. It's a distraction from the real issues.”

The Republican National Committee seized the moment emailing the Booker video clip to reporters, and posting it on Twitter, writing “democrats disagree with Obama’s attacks on the private sector.”

But later that day, the mayor responded with a YouTube video in which he said he had “no problem” with efforts to examine Romney’s record in the private sector since he made it a “centerpiece of his campaign.”

“He’s talked about himself as a job creator, and, therefore, it is reasonable and in fact I encourage it for the Obama campaign to examine that record and to discuss it,” Booker said in the video.

Addressing Booker's comments, Congressman John Lewis, one of the Civil Rights Movement leaders, in an interview on WNYC’s Leonard Lopate on Monday said it was sometimes advisable to “think hard before speaking.”

“But he came back and tried to remove himself from that statement,” Lewis said.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy