After Newark Mayor Cory Booker criticized President Obama‘s campaign strategy on NBC’s “Meet The Press,” the White House is in full damage-control mode. Chief Obama strategist David Axelrod rebuked Booker, saying he was “just wrong.” “I love Cory Booker. He’s a great mayor,” Axelrod remarked. “If I were, if my house was on fire, I’d hope he were my next door neighbor,” Axelrod said on MSNBC, referring to Booker’s rescue of a neighbor last month. “I agree with what he said later. I think this was a legitimate area for discussion.”

Cory Booker isn’t the only Democrat to question the aggressive, negative portrayal of Mitt Romney’s work in private equity. Former Tennessee Rep. Harold Ford Jr. and former Obama administration economic adviser Steven Rattner both made similar comments last week, calling Obama’s TV ad, “unfair” and agreeing with “the substance” of Booker’s comments. “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.”