Booker, whose remarks came during a roundtable appearance on “Meet the Press,” responded to comments made by former Secretary of State Colin Powell earlier on the same show. Powell had called Republicans intolerant and discriminatory.
“First of all, I think he’s spot on,” Booker said of Powell’s remarks. He then criticized Republicans for sending a negative message during the 2012 election.
“The rhetoric in this campaign — and I saw it in my community — turned off a lot of people, black, Latino, women and gay,” Booker said. “And it was unnecessary.”
But only minutes later, the 2014 U.S. Senate hopeful turned a blind eye to the lack of diversity in President Obama’s cabinet.
Gregory showed his guests the recent White House photo in which Obama is surrounded by only white male staffers. The host then asked Booker about diversity in the Obama administration.
Booker defended the President, calling the uproar over the photo “swiftboating” and saying half the White House staff is women. But Gregory pointed out that the most important cabinet positions are filled by white men.
“The cabinet is not fully fleshed out now,” Booker said. “Please don’t diminish cabinet-level position as certain ones are big and certain ones are not.”
The Mayor called it “disingenuous” to show the picture of Obama surrounded by white male staffers. Booker stressed that the President hadn’t finished all his selections.
While many — even within the Republican party — might agree with Booker that the GOP did a poor job of reaching out to minorities, the Mayor should be willing to tell it like it is on both sides of the aisle.