Newark, N.J. Mayor Cory Booker is officially on the outs with the White House after going off message about the Obama campaign's attacks on Mitt Romney's private equity record.
According to the New York Post, Booker's one-time hopes of a future Cabinet spot have now been slashed:
“He’s dead to us,” one ranking administration official said of the prevailing feelings at the White House and Obama headquarters in Chicago.
Booker had been angling for the housing secretary gig in a second Obama term, according to sources in the administration and close to the mayor.
The job was certainly a possibility, given Booker’s work in New Jersey’s biggest city, according to administration and Democratic Party sources.
Booker, whose national profile had been on the rise, made headlines last month when he said he found the Obama campaign's attacks on Romney's time at Bain Capital "nauseating." He hastily issued a video statement backtracking from the comments, which were immediately seized upon by Republicans.
The situation escalated the following night when Booker appeared on MSNBC's "The Rachel Maddow Show" and admitted he wanted to "clarify" his remarks after being contacted by campaign officials:
“Cory and Barack Obama have never been besties, but that was the final nail. It’s like, ‘You’re dead and done.’ The firing squad is out,” said a Democratic source in contact with both sides. “It’s not just that he messed up, it was that he compounded it and didn’t have their back when they gave him a national stage to talk.”
[...]“What he did was undermine a leading argument for the campaign. It was a serious distraction. Not a minor screw-up; a major screw-up,” a Democratic source said. “He is trying to figure out how to work his way back in the fold.”
Despite the report, the Democratic National Committee insisted Booker's remarks are a thing of the past.
“Mayor Booker’s comments are behind us and we are working together to re-elect the president in November,” DNC Executive Director Patrick Gaspard told the Post.