Newark Mayor Cory Booker—who came under fire from fellow Democrats last month over his criticism of an Obama campaign ad attacking Mitt Romney's record as the head of Bain Capital—appeared on the "Tonight Show" on Monday, telling Jay Leno that he and President Barack Obama are still friends.
"Barack was my friend before he was my president," Booker said. "We continue to be friends."
"He was incredibly gracious in the things he said about me," Booker said of Obama's remarks after the mayor's May 20 "Meet the Press" appearance. "He was incredibly kind, and that's the shame about the kind of politics we're in—people often miss the essence of a man. We have a president who, despite whether you are right or left, is a good person."
Booker added: "He was the first person to step forward and say 'Hey, you're my friend, we all say things that don't come out as we mean them, and I'm still with you.'"
On "Meet the Press," Booker said the Obama campaign's ad slamming private equity made him "uncomfortable."
"This kind of stuff is nauseating to me on both sides," Booker said. "It's nauseating to the American public. Enough is enough. 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."
After the broadcast, Booker took to his favorite medium—Twitter—to clarify his comments.
"I will fight hard for Obama to win," Booker wrote. "But just as his '08 campaign did, I believe we must elevate [and] not denigrate. This is the Obama I know."
- Politics & Government
- President Barack Obama