Cory Booker: ‘I wanted to scream out’ during the first debate

posted at 2:41 pm on October 11, 2012 by Mary Katharine Ham

Who, me? Cory Booker? Dashing mayor by day and occasional superhero by night? You’d like me to comment on the president’s dismal performance in his debate last week? Why, no, I just don’t think I could. I really shouldn’t. Do you have a permit for arm-twisting, buddy? Ha, just a little mayor humor. Well, all right, if you insist:

Newark Mayor Cory Booker, a top President Obama surrogate, said Thursday he wanted to “scream” during last week’s debate when Obama did not pounce on Mitt Romney’s joke about needing to “get a new accountant.”

“I wanted to scream out, Obama, say, ‘keep your accountant, they’re allowing you to pay only 13 percent in taxes,’” Booker said. “The rest of us should have accountants like that.”

Surely sensing Stef Cutter with zip ties at the ready behind him, the famous hostage video star turned the corner, saying the president made the right decision not to attack:

But, Booker conceded, the “right advice” for Obama was to “stay presidential.”

“That’s like a shot I don’t want to hear from my president,” Booker said. “So he’s got a fine line to walk. The reality is, I would have liked to see some hard punches to the gut when Romney would say something factually inaccurate, like President Obama was raiding … from Medicare, which is factually inaccurate.”

Actually, that’s exactly the shot Obama should have delivered. Painting Romney as a heartless tax evader has been the strategy of his entire campaign, and there’s nearly nothing unpresidential enough for Obama to avoid in service of that strategy. Please see Big Bird and the Murderer Mitt ad. A well-timed debate zinger would have been a high-water mark. I had the mirror reaction at that moment— “If we all keep our mouths closed, maybe Obama won’t notice he left that on the table.” I watched in amazement as the line improbably worked in Romney’s favor and the president said nothing.

Booker wanted to scream because the retort was aggravatingly obvious and should have been deployed, not because the president was doing the right thing. It’s like yelling the correct answer at your TV as a losing Jeopardy contestant stands mouth agape and later claiming the contestant’s -600 finish was dignified.

Are we still talking about the worst parts of President Obama’s bad debate performance on CNN more than a week after it happened? Why, yes we are. Thanks, Cory Booker! Let that be a lesson to you, Team Obama.

Nobody puts Booker in a corner.

Who else has a measured, reasonable reaction to the president’s debate performance that won’t at all encourage reporters to continue asking about it and people like me to continue posting about it? Robert Gibbs?

“Five minutes in, I thought, ‘Oh s**t.’” Gibbs promised a very different Obama in rounds II and III.

Update: Left a link out for The Hill, and it’s now been added.


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I am thinking there will be no fowl language tonight.

Jabberwock on October 11, 2012 at 3:51 PM

Sorry. It was just hanging out there.

Jabberwock on October 11, 2012 at 3:52 PM

I am thinking there will be no fowl language tonight.

Jabberwock on October 11, 2012 at 3:51 PM

Biden will try to provide the plucky comic relief tonight.

Lourdes on October 11, 2012 at 3:54 PM

when Romney would say something factually inaccurate, like President Obama was raiding … from Medicare, which is factually inaccurate.”

LOL.

Right Booker. Obama should have explained how cutting $716 Billion Dollars from Medicare is not raiding Medicare. “No, seniors, cutting nearly 3/4 of a Trillion Dollars from Medicare is going to make Medicare work better for you. Really. Trust us.”

And after Obama explains how cutting $716 Billion from Medicare spending is only going to make Medicare work better, perhaps then he can explain why he’s not supporting cutting hundreds of billions of dollars in federal spending from programs like Medicaid and welfare and food stamps — because surely he wants to make those programs work better too, right?

If slashing spending is so good for Medicare beneficiaries, why not do it for everybody else who gets federal benefits?

AZCoyote on October 11, 2012 at 3:58 PM

For the new column, too good to miss

I think Ryan should come out picking his teeth with a single yellow feather.

He won’t but it would be awesome.

Lily on October 11, 2012 at 3:46 PM

Schadenfreude on October 11, 2012 at 3:59 PM

None of them get it…..Obama is not that good; way overrated.

If Booker debated Obama, Obama would look like a fool against him, too.
Obama needs a teleprompter and a team of writers to make him look smart, witty, clever, commanding and Presidential. Without it he is lost, resorting to pulling out quotes from speeches he has read too many times.

albill on October 11, 2012 at 4:01 PM

None of them get it…..Obama is not that good; way overrated.

If Booker debated Obama, Obama would look like a fool against him, too.
Obama needs a teleprompter and a team of writers to make him look smart, witty, clever, commanding and Presidential. Without it he is lost, resorting to pulling out quotes from speeches he has read too many times.

albill on October 11, 2012 at 4:01 PM

It’s telling as to just how much Obama in his present fictional form as President (and “Smarter than you and me,” etc.) is unusually artificial when you watch and listen to his earlier speeches from the time before the media remade him into that which he isn’t.

He is so clearly an over-coached, over-modulated CONSTRUCT of media (and handlers) that it’s shocking just to what extent he and they have gone to create a false personna for this guy and for them to use.

Lourdes on October 11, 2012 at 4:05 PM

So….we’re really not talking about those jobless claims huh…..

libfreeordie on October 11, 2012 at 4:06 PM

That $716 billion number started out as $500 billion. It was described as “savings” based on it only targeting waste and fraud. Then the CBO noticed it was inserted into the revenue side and ended up being counted twice, once as saving taxpayers and once as revenue to pay for ObamaCare. Yeah, let’s keep bringing that up Cory.

DanMan on October 11, 2012 at 4:12 PM

Gibbs promised a very different Obama in rounds II and III.

Will this Obama be thoughtful, intelligent, understand economics, actually have strategies for achieving military and foreign policy objectives, and not need a teleprompter to speak in complete sentences? First time for everything.

STL_Vet on October 11, 2012 at 4:12 PM

So….we’re really not talking about those jobless claims huh…..libfreeordie on October 11, 2012 at 4:06 PM

Uh, California was not included in those numbers.

BeachBum on October 11, 2012 at 4:12 PM

Why does everyone assume Romney had no answer to questions Obama never asked? I think Obama would have been destroyed more had he asked them, and you could tell by the look on his face he already knew that.

HopeHeFails on October 11, 2012 at 2:50 PM

I am 100% in agreement with you.

Obama knew who the boss was on stage that night, just as he knows his domineering wife is the boss off of it!

Anti-Control on October 11, 2012 at 4:15 PM

So….we’re really not talking about those jobless claims huh…..

libfreeordie on October 11, 2012 at 4:06 PM

You mean the ones that left out California after gas prices hit$5 a gallon?

Deception shouldn’t be this obvious.

MichaelGabriel on October 11, 2012 at 4:17 PM

Can anyone tell me what time the actual debate begins?

Cleombrotus on October 11, 2012 at 4:17 PM

So….we’re really not talking about those jobless claims huh…..

libfreeordie on October 11, 2012 at 4:06 PM

Lacking a major State like California makes talking about these numbers irrelavent.

But I am sure the likes of you would willingly do so KNOWING they are incomplete.

Keep pushing that string

Jabberwock on October 11, 2012 at 4:20 PM

I am thinking there will be no fowl language tonight.

Jabberwock on October 11, 2012 at 3:51 PM

Biden will try to provide the plucky comic relief tonight.

Lourdes on October 11, 2012 at 3:54 PM

I think Joe’s going to try to duck the important issues.

Laura in Maryland on October 11, 2012 at 4:21 PM

Can anyone tell me what time the actual debate begins?

Cleombrotus on October 11, 2012 at 4:17 PM

think 9 to 10:30 EDT

Jabberwock on October 11, 2012 at 4:21 PM

It’s shocking that 8 days after the debate we’re still talking about it, isn’t it? It must gall Obama to have his deficiencies discussed ad nauseum. Sure, he’s been the subject of criticism from Hannity, “right-wingers” and “tea baggers” … but this drum beat of criticism and commentary from his peers about his “performance” has got to be eating him alive.

I may be wrong. Maybe Obama lives in a delusional world where he ignores talk about his short-comings. But we know he is very thin-skinned, and I would think that this has to be killing him.

For him, it’s like having a proctology exam on live TV with 70 million people watching, and um, commenting on your “assets” — and not in a positive way.

How could this not affect the outcome of the election?

Nicole Coulter on October 11, 2012 at 4:22 PM

So….we’re really not talking about those jobless claims huh…..

libfreeordie on October 11, 2012 at 4:06 PM

I would be trying to change the subject as well. After Obama blows his foot off in the debate, instead of diverting attention from the gaping wound, Booker makes sure everyone keeps looking at it.

STL_Vet on October 11, 2012 at 4:24 PM

Biden

I am thinking there will be no fowl language tonight.

Jabberwock on October 11, 2012 at 3:51 PM

I thi

will try to provide the plucky comic relief tonight.

Lourdes on October 11, 2012 at 3:54 PM

I think Joe’s going to try to duck the important issues.

Laura in Maryland on October 11, 2012 at 4:21 PM

Hope Ryan plays Hawk to Biden’s Dove

Jabberwock on October 11, 2012 at 4:24 PM

Thank you, jabber wok. I’m camping out at the Pine Barrens in NJ. Will have to find a local pub to watch it.

Cleombrotus on October 11, 2012 at 4:26 PM


Maybe he can goose the moderator for a laugh.

dirtengineer on October 11, 2012 at 4:32 PM

“I wanted to scream out, Obama, say, ‘keep your accountant, they’re allowing you to pay only 13 percent in taxes,’” Booker said. “The rest of us should have accountants like that.”
Classic liberal incoherent drivel…Accountants don’t decide how much tax Romney paid…it was the U.S. Congress and the President. The typical liberal, with a sub-100 IQ will think that Romney’s accountants are evil though.
cajunpatriot on October 11, 2012 at 2:45 PM

But Booker still thinks it’s a zinger. Goofballs.

Cleombrotus on October 11, 2012 at 4:32 PM

OOPs…still don’t have that linky thing working

dirtengineer on October 11, 2012 at 4:33 PM

So….we’re really not talking about those jobless claims huh….. libfreeordie on October 11, 2012 at 4:06 PM

The one excluding California?

Why? What would be the point?

Akzed on October 11, 2012 at 4:38 PM

For the new column, too good to miss

I think Ryan should come out picking his teeth with a single yellow feather.

He won’t but it would be awesome.

Lily on October 11, 2012 at 3:46 PM

Schadenfreude on October 11, 2012 at 3:59 PM

Hmmm.
Yellow Big Bird lapel pin?
Or…at least…a yellow tie?

22044 on October 11, 2012 at 4:49 PM

“I wanted to scream out, Obama, say, ‘keep your accountant, they’re allowing you to pay only 13 percent in taxes,’” Booker said. “The rest of us should have accountants like that.”

Booker doesn’t think Romney would have been prepared for that? Does Cory Booker understand investment income? Does Cory Booker know that Romney gave 30% of his income to charity?

monalisa on October 11, 2012 at 4:51 PM

But, Booker conceded, the “right advice” for Obama was to “stay presidential.”

Big Bird ad so presidential.

monalisa on October 11, 2012 at 4:52 PM

New code word for Obama: POULTUS.

Lourdes on October 11, 2012 at 5:02 PM

“Four more eggs! Four more eggs!”

Lourdes on October 11, 2012 at 5:03 PM

Ryan will leave Biden flapping in the wind tonight.

Lourdes on October 11, 2012 at 5:05 PM

Pay every cent that you owe but not one cent more.

I don’t think it is considered intelligent to pay any more taxes than you legally must.

BubbaCluck on October 11, 2012 at 5:27 PM

“Nobody puts Booker in a corner.”

…yeah, but OBOZO puts him UNDER THE BUS – and if he doesn’t toe-the-line better, he’ll be thrown there again.

TeaPartyNation on October 11, 2012 at 6:01 PM

So….we’re really not talking about those jobless claims huh…..

libfreeordie on October 11, 2012 at 4:06 PM

-2

Del Dolemonte on October 11, 2012 at 6:15 PM

Booker’s dream: Romney and Preezy Steezy Round 2, Preezy is deer-in-the-headlights again without a teleprompter, Booker comes out and tells Preezy “I GOT THIS!”
O stumbles away, Booker proceeds to dismantle Romney… entire Democratic party calls unanimously to NOMINATE BOOKER FOR PRESIDENT! AND HE WINS IN A LANDSLIDE!!!11!!!11

zzzzz…. “Mr Booker, sewage department on line 2, the mains are backing up again… Mr Booker!”

Marcola on October 11, 2012 at 6:17 PM

“If we all keep our mouths closed, maybe Obama won’t notice he left that on the table.”

Wow MKH you and Booker seem to think that accountant comeback opening the door of Obama’s false advertising would have had Romney just sitting there with his finger in his nose.

You both maybe should have played more sports and you would see the opponent makes a different move based on your move; they don’t just stand still and let you score. Armchairing that Obama scores by saying he has SUCH a good accountant that he only pays the capital gain rate AS PRESCRIBED BY THE TAX CODE would have stumped Romney??? Gee maybe he would have explained why he paid 13% and whacked Obama even more for his ignorance of taxes. Please say you don’t think that shallow.

Conan on October 11, 2012 at 7:59 PM

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