Cory Booker Had a Nasty Twitter Spat Over ‘Centrist’ Gun Control Views

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Photo: Kris Connor/2009 Getty Images

Newark Mayor Cory Booker is generally graceful when lavished with good publicity for going around saving stray dogs and whatnot. He was decidedly less so when he felt a Star-Ledger journalist got his position on gun control wrong. And a Twitter spat over the story got a bit nasty on Sunday, with the Newark mayor saying he'd been mischaracterized and the journalist calling bullshit. Booker says Giambusso missed parts of his position, such as his support for renewing an assault weapons ban that expired in 2004. Giambusso says his portrayal of Booker comes straight from the mayor's own comments. It's going to be a long road to the Senate.

Booker lashed out on Twitter Sunday for what he called "one of the worst mischaracterizations of my views" by Star-Ledger reporter David Giambusso, whose story posited that Booker had recently moved to a "decidedly centrist position on guns" from his statement in 2000 that he would ban all guns if he could. Giambusso shot back, "the views expressed in the article are your own words. Stop pretending theyre not b/c people are upset w/you." And a spat was born.

The most thorough rundown of the back-and-forth comes in a Storify by the Wall Street Journal's Lisa Fleisher. The evidence remains on Giambusso's Twitter as well, where he challenged Booker and his supporters to specify inaccuracies in the report. And of course it's on Booker's, where he complained Giambusso hadn't gotten his side of the story. "Please stop the b.s. b/c you cant take criticism. I emailed texted u and ur staff several times. The 1 response i got i printed," Giambusso tweeted.

Being called a centrist is far from the epic burn The New York Times delivered last month over Booker's love of good press. But the resulting spat illuminates how he'll handle the less-glowing coverage, of which there's sure to be more as his quest for the Senate takes shape.