Newark Mayor Cory Booker has faced gay rumors before but Rick Shaftan, a senior aide to Republican Steve Lonegan took it to a new level. As the New York Daily News reported on October 11, Shaftan went on a rant, calling Booker gay because of a flirtatious serious of tweets between the Newark Mayor and a stripper.
Shaftan's reasoning was simply because he didn't feel like Booker responded to the stripper like a straight guy would've responded.
"It was just weird. if (Booker) said, 'Hey, you got really hot breasts, man, I'd love to suck on them.' Then like, yeah, cool. But like, he didn't say that. It was like what a gay guy would say to a stripper. It's just like there was no sexual interest at all."
Or perhaps, Booker was just responding like a gentleman. As a public figure, he would have to be careful with any exchange on a social outlet like Twitter. It definitely wouldn't make him "gay". Whatever the Shaftan meant by the comment, he has since said he regretted the remarks and has been fired by Lonegan.
Lonegan, who is running against Booker for New Jersey senator, released the following statement:
"Mr. Shaftan's comments are not reflective of my views or that of my campaign. His comments are distasteful and offensive, and his contract as a vendor for my campaign will be terminated immediately."
Cory Booker has refused to respond to gay rumors in the past, simply stating that he "thinks it's wonderful" that people think he's gay because he wants "to challenge people on their homophobia."