11:47 am May. 22, 2012
After very publicly sandbagging the Obama campaign's initial attacks on Bain Capital, financier and former administration car czar Steven Rattner said this morning that he thinks the president has struck the right tone on the relevance of Mitt Romney's business experience.
"I think in his statements yesterday he found the right place to be," Rattner said on "Morning Joe."
Rattner's criticism complicated the roll-out of the campaign's first Bain ad.
That role was played this past weekend by Newark mayor Cory Booker, who went on "Meet the Press" as an Obama surrogate and said that he disagreed with the campaign's attacks on private equity and called the negative tone of the contest "nauseating."
Republicans seized on the comments, inviting supporters to "Stand with Cory Booker." So did Harold Ford and Artur Davis, who regularly profess disaffection with the Democratic Party and its leadership and seem eager to welcome Booker to their club.
The president was forced to respond at a press conference after a NATO summit. Obama praised Booker and private equity, but said the questions about Romney's resume would be a core of his campaign.
"If your message is 'I knew how to make a lot of money for investors,' then you're missing what this job is about," he said.
Booker went on Rachel Maddow's show last night, saying he was upset that Republicans were "plucking soundbites out of that interview to manipulate them in a cynical manner, to use them for their own purposes." And he tweeted a list of ways Republicans could "stand with" him, if they are actually interested in doing that.
But the story had clearly gotten away from him.
The "Morning Joe" crew, meanwhile, played a Republican video that featured Rattner's comments over some scary-sounding music.
"Ominous," Rattner said of the score. "I'm a scary guy."