Booker's opponent says sexuality speculation 'weird'
August 28th, 2013
09:00 AM ET
7 years ago

Booker's opponent says sexuality speculation 'weird'

(CNN) – Steve Lonegan, the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in New Jersey, said in an interview Tuesday that ongoing chatter about rival Cory Booker's sexuality was "weird," and that he personally likes "being a guy."

The response was prompted by an interview that Booker, the mayor of Newark, gave to The Washington Post this week in which he said he wasn't bothered when people speculate whether he's straight or gay.

"I love seeing on Twitter when someone says I'm gay, and I say, 'So what does it matter if I am? So be it. I hope you are not voting for me because you are making the presumption that I'm straight,'" Booker, a Democrat, told the paper.

Lonegan said in an interview with the conservative online publication Newsmax that he found Booker's comments "weird."

"As a guy, I personally like being a guy," he said. "I don't know if you saw the stories last year. They've been out for quite a bit about how he likes to go out at three o'clock in the morning for a manicure and a pedicure."

Booker, in an August interview with DuJour Magazine, said the nail care regime was prompted by an ex-girlfriend.

"Being a public figure, people talk smack about you, so I found this 24-hour mani-pedi place and go in the middle of the night. It's this guilty pleasure I have," Booker said in the interview. "Look, manis are good, but pedis – there's something . . . transformative."

Lonegan described Booker's routine as a "fetish," claiming his own indulgences were "a good Scotch and a cigar."

"That's my fetish but we'll just compare the two," Lonegan said.

Recent public polling shows Booker the heavy favorite in New Jersey's Senate race. According to a Monmouth University/Asbury Park Press Poll released last week, Booker leads Lonegan 54%-38% among those likely to vote in New Jersey's Oct. 16 special election. The survey was conducted following landslide primary victories by both Booker and Lonegan, the former mayor of the northern New Jersey town of Bogota.

A Quinnipiac University poll conducted at the beginning of the month, prior to the primary elections, indicated Booker with a 25 percentage point lead over Lonegan. The winner of the special election will finish the term of the late Democratic Sen. Frank Lautenberg, who died earlier this year.

CNN's Kevin Liptak and Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report

Filed under: Cory Booker • New Jersey • Steve Lonegan
soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. ST

    This kind of personal attack doesn't sound good in ears of many. How many gays are there in Congress/Senate so far? The work (Senate in New Jersey), is not about to deal with gays. What a low class this man, Steve Lonegan is?

    August 28, 2013 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  2. Winston Smith

    Leave it to a person from the right, to start speculation on another person sexuality. After all, where would we be if not for the people that think they are the chosen few, entitled to set in judgment of us all. It's a good bet we'd be in the middle of two or three wars, and looking to get into another conflict, if it weren't for these beautiful, thoughtful individuals and their ability to place all the rest of us in one category or another.

    August 28, 2013 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  3. Winston Smith

    Sarcasm, is so underrated. Especially when politics, and political parasites are the subject at hand. Sad thing though. No one from the right, or extreme right understands or appreciates the art.

    August 28, 2013 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  4. Lionel

    Just more hate bating from the Republicans

    August 28, 2013 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  5. Warren

    Leave it to a Republican to bring up sexuality and call someone weird, "As a guy, I personally like being a guy," he said. "
    Well guess what, I like being a guy too, and i'm gay. Not sure what a statement like that is suppose to mean. But coming from a Republican i'm sure it's to stir up hate.

    August 28, 2013 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  6. Rudy NYC

    Why are Republicans always trying to convince people not to vote for their opponent? Doesn't it make more sense to talk about yourself, instead of marginalizing your opponent?

    Besides being a Tea Party darling, which says a lot more today than it did just a couple of years ago, what do we know about Steve Lonegan? Have you heard any of his previous quotes? I have. Imagine a Chris Christie from the extreme right wing.

    August 28, 2013 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  7. Bessy

    How low can these people actually go ? They are never happy unless they can keep speculation of one type or another going. WHO CARES ! I can't vote for Booker but what does it really matter if he is gay, or not. The only people that it matters to are the hypocrite's and religious fanatics, or should I say Republicans.

    August 28, 2013 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  8. John in Brooklyn

    Lonegan doesn't get it. I am a gay man and, frankly I like being a guy too. And, as a gay man, I would be insulted to think that a candidate would be pandering to me to vote for them simply because they were gay – or straight for that matter. That is the point that Mayor Booker was making....but clearly Lonegan only wants straight people to vote for him since he feels that it is so important to clarify his own sexuality assuming that straight people wouldn't vote for a gay candidate.

    August 28, 2013 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  9. Anonymous

    Doesn't it make more sense to talk about yourself, instead of marginalizing your opponent?

    One would think so. It would make more sense to come up with positive plans for the future, especially after a major hurricane has destroyed so very much of New Jersey. Negativity might not be welcome at this stage of the game.

    August 28, 2013 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  10. Arun

    Guess Lonegan really doesn't have any issues to talk about in NJ!!

    August 28, 2013 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  11. livingston

    He sounds like someone who is very comfortable with is own sexuality. It really doesn't matter to him if you think he is straight or gay. On the other hand anyone who goes out of their way to state how much they like 'being a guy', well, not so much. If that is all they can come up with to go after Mr. Booker with then he sounds like a good choice for the office.

    August 28, 2013 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  12. Sniffit

    "Why are Republicans always trying to convince people not to vote for their opponent? Doesn't it make more sense to talk about yourself, instead of marginalizing your opponent? "

    if Lonegan did that, he'd run out of things to say in about 2 minutes.

    August 28, 2013 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  13. Sniffit

    Always fun to see some insecure jerk engage in classic overcompensation behavior to mask his low self-esteem and feelings of inadequacy with bravado, braggadocio and belittling others. What a pathetically small man Lonegan is.

    August 28, 2013 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  14. Fair is Fair

    Rudy NYC

    Why are Republicans always trying to convince people not to vote for their opponent? Doesn't it make more sense to talk about yourself, instead of marginalizing your opponent?
    Because attack ads work. And BOTH sides use them extensively... in fact, almost exclusively.

    August 28, 2013 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  15. T Fox

    Booker's answer was exactly right – why in the world would his sexual orientation be relevant to his capability to be a Senator, or his grooming habits.

    Nonsense like this speaks of opposition devoid of policy ideas at best and underlying bigotry at worst.

    August 28, 2013 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  16. wendel

    typical repo trash. vote all these clowns out. Tired of a do nothing congress anyway

    August 28, 2013 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  17. tea party days are numbered

    sounds like the republican has some insecurities about himself, he has to remind himself he's a man.

    August 28, 2013 11:02 am at 11:02 am |