Newark Mayor Booker Has Utterly Shocking Change of Heart (UPDATE)

Newark Mayor Cory Booker (D), New Jersey's snow-plowing hero and sporadic comedic genius, has demonstrated his skills in a longstanding discipline among politicians: the walk-back.

On Meet the Press yesterday, Booker derided President Obama's attacks on private equity as "nauseating," elaborating that "we're getting to a ridiculous point in America. ... If you look at the totality of the record of Bain Capital [the company whose links to Mitt Romney have been giving the Republican nominee some trouble this cycle], they've done a lot to support businesses, to grow businesses."

Now, however, this "surrogate of the Obama campaign" is expressing remorse over his doubtless incredibly insulting and hurtful choice of words.  In a subsequent YouTube video, Booker devolved into complete Democrat stump-speech mode, starting out strong with his conviction that "President Barack Obama has done such a strong job as a leader of our nation, that he more than deserves re-election."  From there it's railing against the ramifications of the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision (namely, more free speech -- horrors upon horrors) and the complete non-issue of reviving Jeremiah Wright this election cycle.

"I used the word 'nauseating' on Meet the Press because that's really how I feel," Booker said in the YouTube missive, but the outrage against Obama's attacks on private equity has been swept under the rug.  In fact ("Let me be clear"!), "I believe that Mitt Romney in many ways is not being completely honest with his role and his record, even while a businessperson, and is shaping it to serve his political interest[.]"  So it's totally fair for the Obama campaign to hit Bain and private equity as hard as it wants, and clearly, Booker on Meet the Press was just railing against some generalized, sanitized "climate of negativity" or something.

At this point -- and remember, this is no impromptu video -- Booker starts stuttering and messing up his grammar.  Maybe he's at least a little embarrassed by the transparency of this walk-back.

UPDATE: Former Tennessee Rep. Harold Ford (D) takes Booker to task...kind of:

"I would not have backed off the comments if I were Mayor Booker," Ford, a Democrat, said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe." "The substance of his comments on 'Meet the Press,' I agree with the core of it. I would not have backed them out... private equity's not a bad thing. As a matter of fact, private equity is a good thing in many, many instances."

"Having said that, I understand as a surrogate for the campaign, you have to have one of your key and most eloquent and most effective surrogates at least clarify or at least bring context to his statements," continued Ford.

Translated: "But when you're in Obama's pocket, it's okay to throw yourself under the bus if your true and understandable comments reflect badly on your leader."