LaBolt didn’t get Booker memo

Campaign spokesman contradicts Axelrod, Booker by claiming campaign did not contact Newark mayor

BY:

Newark mayor Cory Booker said in an interview with Rachel Maddow Monday that the Obama campaign had spoken to him after his appearance on "Meet the Press" Sunday, before Booker released a subsequent YouTube statement–exactly what Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt said did not happen.

"I certainly did talk with campaign officials, but they didn't force me to do anything," Booker said in the Maddow interview.

Booker released the YouTube video Sunday afternoon to "clarify" his remarks on the Obama campaign's attacks on Bain Capital and private equity.

Senior Obama adviser David Axelrod also alluded to the conversations between Booker and the campaign, in a Monday interview with Andrea Mitchell:

MITCHELL: Then he releases a video trying to explain what he meant to say on twitter. I assume that he heard from someone in the campaign or the White House or both.

AXELROD: Well, I think he probably heard from a lot of people who feel that it's a legitimate issue.

LaBolt, however, said this did not happen in a Monday interview with CNN, as noted by Dylan Byers at Politico:

Earlier yesterday, CNN host Brooke Baldwin asked La Bolt whether the campaign (or White House) had reached out to Booker, and La Bolt offered the opposite answer.

"Did anyone from the White House or the Obama 2012 campaign reach out to Booker, make him reel his words in?" Baldwin asked.

"We did not," LaBolt said. "These are his own views in the video.

Baldwin pressed again: "You’re telling me no one within the Obama 2012 campaign in any way reached out to Cory Booker to fix this?"

"He released that video of his own volition," LaBolt said. "We did not ask him to do so. We did not, no."

In the interview, LaBolt also confirmed that Democrats had paid transportation costs for Randy Johnson, a former American Pad & Paper employee and longtime Bain critic.

UPDATE: LaBolt, in a statement Tuesday, said that Booker had spoken Sunday with a 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."

Asked if the president or anyone in the administration or campaign had spoken with Booker since Sunday, White House press secretary Jay Carney could not confirm or deny that anyone had spoken with him, in a Tuesday press briefing.

"I don’t have any calls to read out," Carney said. "I’m not aware that the president had a conversation like that, and I’m not aware of anybody who has spoken to him. I’m not saying they haven’t, I just have heard nothing on that."

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