Cleanup in Aisle 12: When Obama Answers for His Surrogates

From Cory Booker to Bill Clinton, Obama has been on damage control duty.

May 22, 2012, 3:09 PM

June 1, 2012 -- intro: At times in his presidency, Barack Obama has had to act like a janitor, cleaning up the mess spilled by people who work for him. Sometimes it's low-level spokespeople, and other times it's his vice president.

Here's a run down the aisle of the allies who have prompted Obama to control the unforced damage.

quicklist: 2title: Bill Clintontext: Job: Husband of Hillary Clinton, former president

What he did wrong: Said Mitt Romney is "a man who has been governor and had a sterling business career crosses the qualification threshold" to be president.

What Obama said: Romney's business record "is what this campaign is going to be about."

What Obama wishes he could do: Revoke White House visiting privileges


quicklist: 1title: P.J. Crowleytext: Job: Profuse spokesman at the State Department

What he did wrong: Publicly criticized the way the government was treating Bradley Manning, the soldier detained for allegedly providing classified documents to WikiLeaks

What Obama said: Obama was actually asked about Crowley's comments at a press conference. Obama said he'd asked the Pentagon whether Manning's detention was appropriate, and that the Pentagon said the terms were meeting basic standards.

What happened: Crowley resignedmedia: 16407095

quicklist: 2title: Hilary Rosentext: Job: Democratic strategist, working mom

What she did wrong: Insulted Ann Romney for not having a job.

What Obama said: Being a mom is the toughest job, and "anybody who would argue otherwise, I think, probably needs to rethink their statement."

What happened: Rosen apologized

media: 16407083

quicklist: 3title: Cory Bookertext: Job: Snow shoveler, impromptu firefighter, mayor of Newark

What he did wrong: Said Obama's anti-Mitt Romney ads about the presumptive Republican nominee's Bain Capital experience made him "uncomfortable."

What Obama said: Romney's role at Bain "is not a distraction. This is what this campaign is going to be about."

What happened: Booker talked with the Obama campaign and then published a video more on message with the talking points.

media: 16407069

quicklist: 4title:Ben LaBolttext: Job: Mouthpiece for Obama

What he did wrong: Said Booker hadn't spoken with the campaign before making that video; Booker said he had spoken with the campaign.

LaBolt says he didn't speak inaccurately, because while a Democratic official did speak to Booker, the official didn't ask Booker to make the video.

What Obama said: Nothing.

media: 16406987

quicklist: 5title: Joe Bidentext: Job: Vice president, Amtrak spokesman

What he did wrong: Endorsed gay marriage

What Obama said: He endorsed gay marriage

What happened: See above

media: 16407049

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