Booker Talks Paul Ryan, Biden 'Chains' Remark on Piers Morgan
Newark mayor throws full support behind Obama on Wednesday's CNN appearance
The national spotlight once again has fallen on Newark Mayor Cory Booker, who threw his full support Wednesday behind President Barack Obama during an appearance on CNN's Piers Morgan Tonight.
Booker, a Democrat and long-time supporter of Obama, backed the president's budget outline and stance on gun control during his 10-minute spot, saying the president's overarching plan "does not forget that America's got to remain competitive."
The mayor slammed Republicans Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney for supporting "draconian cuts that are going to affect seniors, children, innovation, research and development," and blamed Ryan, the House budget committee chairman, for the soaring federal deficit.
"Actually, I don't think so," Booker responded, after Morgan asked if Ryan poses a threat to Democrats in the upcoming election. "I think it really provides the American public with a very clear choice."
As the mayor of a city that's wracked with gun violence daily, Booker notably said he joins Obama in supporting second-amendment rights and sees no problem with law-abiding citizens who purchase guns legally.
"The overwhelming majority of the gun crimes in America are committed by criminals that obtain guns illegally," he said.
"The urgency that I live with is not any occasional horrific tragedy, it is a daily nightmare around America and we need to start talking about it," he said in response to Morgan's reference to the recent Aurora, Colo. and Wisconsin Sikh temple shootings.
When probed about Vice President Joe Biden's contentious "chains" remark he made Tuesday, Booker pointed the finger on a "media that becomes so much more obsessed with sound bites than substance."
"(Romney) is going to let the big banks once again write their own rules, unchain Wall Street," Biden had said. "He is going to put y'all back in chains."
Calling Biden's speech "substantive" and pertaining to issues Booker's constituents care about, the mayor had a message dissenters:
"Please, I beg America, listen to the whole speech by the Vice President of America," he said. "Don't let the sound bites that the media is presenting to you affect your mind."
If anyone knows the ruckus a controversial political comment can cause, it's Booker, who earlier this week acknowledged the importance of word choice in light of his "Meet the Press" flap in May.
"I could have expressed the same idea in a way that could not have been used by the Republican Party and misconstrued as a direct attack on the president," he told The Wall Street Journal. "But the reality is that I stand by what I said. I’ve never been comfortable with the tone or tenor of negative campaigning."
At the time, Booker had openly criticized Obama campaign ads against Romney and private equity.
Booker, the co-chair of the Democratic party's platform committee who stumped for Obama in Michigan last week, does not have a speaking gig at next month's Democratic National Convention. The keynote speaker is San Antonio, Texas Mayor Julian Castro, The Wall Street Journal reported.