It's not just Newark mayor Cory Booker; it's several other business friendly Democrats who can't stomach Obama's attacks on private equity.
As for the criticism that the Team Obama's Bain attack is part of "nauseating" political discourse with which Booker has become "very uncomfortable," Axelrod said, "on this particular instance he was just wrong."
Booker is not the only Democrat to question the aggressive, negative portrayal of Romney's work in private equity. Former Tennessee Rep. Harold Ford Jr. said today he agreed with "the substance" of Booker's comments and "would not have backed out."
"I agree with him, private equity is not a bad thing. Matter of fact, private equity is a good thing in many, many instances," the Democrat said in a separate appearance on MSNBC earlier in the day.
Former Obama administration economic adviser Steven Rattner made similar comments last week, calling a new Obama campaign TV ad attacking Romney's role in the bankruptcy of a Bain-owned steel company "unfair."
"Bain Capital's responsibility was not to create 100,000 jobs or some other number. It was to create profits for its investors," Rattner said. "'It did it superbly well, acting within the rules, acting very responsibly. ... This is part of capitalism, this is part of life. I don't think there's anything Bain Capital did that they need to be embarrassed about."
Republicans have been gleeful with the apparent divide among Democrats over the portrayal of Romney's Bain days. The Romney campaign produced a web video - "Big Bain Backfire" - highlighting the comments, while the Republican National Committee purchased ads on Twitter to play up the Booker flap.
Democrats aren't about to purge the likes of Booker, Ford, and Rattner. But that trio, and many more who think like they do in the party, realize you can't kill the golden goose. All those social programs and green schemes need to be funded by tax dollars. And private equity funds the new businesses and business expansion that makes the goose lay eggs.
It will be interesting to see whether Obama thinks the class warfare themes plays better than the pragmatic beliefs of people like Booker and Ford.