Cory Booker and Barack Obama: It's All Good

The Newark mayor says he and the president are still friends after his Meet the Press gaffe.

Posted: 06/19/2012 10:14 AM EDT

Newark Mayor Cory Booker took a lot of heat last month after publically criticizing Team Obama's strategy to cast rival Mitt Romney in campaign ads as a cold-hearted corporate raider whose venture capital firm, Bain Capital, sucked the life out of companies and communities. In fact, during a May 20 appearance on NBC's Meet the Press, he called the tactic "nauseating," prompting the GOP to run its own campaign with the tag line, "I Stand With Cory."

Some of President Obama's senior aides expressed frustration after the incident. "I definitely wasn't at my best," Booker told The Tonight Show host Jay Leno on Monday. But the president, he added, was "incredibly gracious."

“Barack was my friend before he was my president. I met him in 2005 and began a relationship with him,” said Booker. “He was incredibly gracious with the things he said about me, I’ve seen him since, and we continue to be friends.”

After the incident, the president 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,'" he said.

Booker added that the supersized reaction to his Meet the Press remarks underscored the point he had set out to make, "that we are now in America in this combustible, polarized, political environment, which distracts us."


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(Photo: NBC)


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