Cory Booker’s ‘Spanking’ Comes in the Form of a Newark Dig

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Lautenberg and Booker. Photo: Andy Marlin/Getty Images

Earlier this week, 89-year-old Senator Frank Lautenberg confirmed that he isn't happy about Cory Booker's plans to run for his seat in 2014, but said that as a father of four, he can handle the situation. The New Jersey Democrat remarked that when one of his children was "disrespectful," he "gave them a spanking and everything was okay." Now it seems Lautenberg has settled on a harsher punishment, inspired by a recent New York Times piece that suggested Booker should focus on fixing his city rather than chatting up its residents on Twitter. “He’s got a lot of work to do — a lot of work that should have been done and hasn’t been done,” Lautenberg told National Journal on Thursday.

He went on to describe Newark as a “city in desperate need of attention,” adding that “maybe if the mayor can solidify the fact that he wants to improve Newark by being there, things would be different. But he’s free to do as he wants to do.” Fix the city or don't — Lautenberg doesn't tell other people how to do their jobs.

The senator had another smooth comeback when a reporter pointed out that a new poll shows Booker beating him in 2014, 51 to 30 percent. “I know the people of New Jersey trust me,” he said. “They’ve seen me hard at work constantly for now 28 years.”

Booker might be learning that it isn't smart to openly antagonize your elders, but he couldn't resist posting a passive-aggressive tweet a few hours after the story was published. At least he refrained from asking Lautenberg if he knew the guy who said this: