GOP ‘I Stand by Cory Booker’ Campaign Infuriates Newark Mayor

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Cory Booker wants to be clear. The social-media-happy Newark mayor tweeted "#IStandWithObama" on Monday night in a response to a Republican National Committee petition, "I Stand With Cory Booker," seizing on Booker's statement that negative campaigning by the Obama campaign nauseated him for its attack on private equity. The Obama surrogate also appeared on the Rachel Maddow Show  to denounce the way that the GOP has attempted to capitalize on his off-script comments.

"Here they are plucking sound bites out of that interview to manipulate them in a cynical manner, to use them for their own purpose," Booker said. "I'm very upset that I'm being used by the GOP this way." He added later, "What really, really, unfortunately has me frustrated, is that not only does the GOP tend to overlook urban areas like the one that I've been standing for and working in for my entire professional life, but the one time they do seem to pay attention to it they just want to exploit and manipulate a mayor who for my entire career has been standing for something different."

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The petition also takes liberty with Booker's remarks, extending his criticism of the Obama campaign's ads to a larger Obama attack on the free market. The petition reads:

Yesterday New Jersey Mayor Cory Booker, a surrogate spokesman for the Obama campaign called the president's attacks on the free market "ridiculous". That's right Mr. President, we aren't going to let you destroy free enterprise. Stand up for America. Stand up for job creators.

On Monday, Romney weaved the Booker narrative into a speech:

“President Obama confirmed today that he will continue his attacks on the free enterprise system, which Mayor Booker and other leading Democrats have spoken out against,” Romney said in a statement. “What this election is about is the 23 million Americans who are still struggling to find work and the millions who have lost their homes and have fallen into poverty.”

Also on Monday, Obama stood by his campaign's criticisms of Romney and Bain Capital, saying that Romney's record is fair game and worthy of debate. Booker is now back on script and told Maddow he wasn't planning to give interviews on the matter, but felt compelled to do so out of frustration with the RNC's adoption of him and his comments as ammunition against the incumbent. So he proposes this:

Anybody in the GOP who wants to stand with me, please stand with me — stand with me for marriage equality as Barack Obama stands up for, stand with me for not turning back the clock on women in terms of medical issues and other things like Barack Obama is standing, stand with me on making healthcare more accessible, stand with me for making college more affordable, as President Obama is doing.