Obama Campaign: Booker Spoke With DNC

By: CNN Posted By Doug Brown
By: CNN Posted By Doug Brown

Washington (CNN) – As it turns out, Newark, New Jersey Mayor Cory Booker did talk with an official at the Democratic National Committee following his off-message appearance on NBC's "Meet the Press," an Obama campaign spokesman confirmed Tuesday.

Ben LaBolt, a spokesman for the president's re-election team, told CNN in an interview on Monday that Booker was never pressured by the Obama campaign to record a YouTube video clarifying his remarks on the Sunday talk show.

During his appearance on "Meet the Press," the Obama supporter described attacks on Mitt Romney's tenure at the private investment firm Bain Capital as "nauseating." Booker also seemed to equate the Bain criticism with a recent effort by conservative operatives to dredge up stories about the president's former pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright. Hours later on Sunday, Booker recorded a web video that questioned Romney's record at the company.

"We did not ask him to do so. We did not," LaBolt told CNN's Brooke Baldwin on Monday when asked whether the Obama campaign had called on Booker to clean up his comments. "He released that video of his own volition."

In a statement released by LaBolt Tuesday, he again insisted that Booker was not asked to release the video. But LaBolt did reveal Booker had a conversation with an unnamed DNC official.

"As Mayor Booker has said, the campaign did not reach out and ask him to record a video. Campaign officials also had not reached out directly to Mayor Booker yesterday, but he spoke with a DNC official who also did not ask him to record a video," LaBolt said.

He declined to specify what exactly that DNC official said to Booker during the conversation.

The statement from LaBolt was first reported in Politico.

However, LaBolt's statement is somewhat at odds with what Booker told MSNBC's Rachel Maddow Monday night. During the interview, Booker said he had "conversations" with the Obama campaign.

"They've done nothing but encourage me and in this case in particular, I certainly did talk with campaign officials. But they didn't force me to do anything. They had good conversations with me," Booker told MSNBC.


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