Cory Booker | New Jersey | Republican Party

Republican Aide Fired After Suggesting Cory Booker Is Gay

A top aide to Republican senate candidate Steve Lonegan has been fired after making comments about Lonegan's rival in the race, Cory Booker.

On Thursday, Talking Points Memo published a bizarre interview they conducted with the aide, Rick Shaftan, in which he makes several crass and homophobic remarks.

ShaftanIn a profanity-filled assessment of the race delivered via phone Thursday, Rick Shaftan, a senior staffer and key strategist on Lonegan's campaign, suggested voters would be turned off by Booker's "odd" behavior including Twitter messages the Democrat sent to a stripper, that Shaftan described as "strange" and "like what a gay guy would say."

"It was just weird. I mean, to me, you know, hey, if he 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," Shaftan explained. "It was like kind of like, I don't know, it was like what a gay guy would say to a stripper. It's the way he was talking to her. It's just like like there was no sexual interest at all. I don't know. To me, if I was single and you know like some stripper was tweeting me, I might take advantage of the perks of the office, you know?"

Shaftan was informed of his termination later that day.

According to The Star-Ledger, Lonegan issued the following statement about his now former employee soon after: “His comments are distasteful and offensive, and his contract as a vendor for my campaign will be terminated immediately.”

Shaftan has since posted a non-apology on his Facebook page.

I apologize to Steve Lonegan and his supporters if any statements I have made have hurt his candidacy and do not want these comments or my presence in this campaign to serve as a distraction to his efforts to win this election and save our nation from the radical left-wing policies of Barack Obama and Cory Booker.

All this takes place just ahead of the special election this Tuesday.

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  1. Any "apology" that contains the word "if" is not an apology; rather it is a big F.U.

    Posted by: Joesph Foster | Oct 12, 2013 4:18:16 PM

  2. Seems that Shaftan needs the most convincing of any of his OWN heterosexuality.

    Posted by: CVP | Oct 12, 2013 4:23:25 PM

  3. what is really funny and weird about this is that even though Mr. Shaftan wrote a demeaning and disgusting article, I have seen Mr. Lonegan on TV and there is something wrong with him......I am not sure what it is....he has an odd and peculiar affect along with weird facial expressions......or maybe he is cross eyed......

    Posted by: Bernie | Oct 12, 2013 4:46:13 PM

  4. My estimation of Lonegan just rose to "almost despise."

    Posted by: TomTallis | Oct 12, 2013 4:53:27 PM

  5. @Joesph Foster: the "if" was OK in this case because he was not apologizing to the person he badmouthed, but rather to his former employer. It isn't clear if Shaftan's statements hurt Lonegan's campaign given how rapidly Shaftan was removed, which justifies the use of the word "if".

    What Shaftan has yet to do is to apologize to both Brooker and the alleged stripper.

    Posted by: Bill | Oct 12, 2013 5:15:16 PM

  6. In his apology for his homophobia, Lonegan manages to insert vague racism. Well played.

    Posted by: chris | Oct 12, 2013 5:27:41 PM

  7. After reading the comment, the more offensive part of it is him saying he'd take advantage of his position and hook up with the stripper.

    You know, let's try to slam gay people and in the same breathe, not realizing, we're letting everyone know just how sleezy we are in our personal life.

    Posted by: Michael | Oct 12, 2013 5:29:13 PM

  8. Hilariously douchebaggery. This guy is such an assclown his head hasn't been out of his ass for at least 30 years. "Perks of the office," really?! Good God, I'm glad these fossils are dying off.

    Posted by: Bart | Oct 12, 2013 5:30:17 PM

  9. Let's spend the next ten years playing gay insult ping pong.

    Posted by: Gee | Oct 12, 2013 5:31:11 PM

  10. Am I the only one that is amazed that someone that close to a candidate could really be that dumb? If I didn't trust these sources, I would swear I was being punked!

    I suppose it can only be accounted for as the fringe supporting the fringe... but even that???

    Meanwhile... if Cory were gay. :)

    Posted by: Pete N SFO | Oct 12, 2013 5:52:53 PM

  11. BCory Booker is ahead in the polls with just a few days left. I don't think this homophobic guy acted alone. It is a typical Republican tactic to smear someone as gay - especial when a Republican is desperate. I think Lonegan's campaign asked this guy to do this on purpose. Now the seed of doubt is once again implanted in voter's heads about Cory and the man who said it was a non-vital member of the Lonegan who can take the blame & then disappear.

    Republicans ALWAYS play dirty.

    Posted by: Icebloo | Oct 12, 2013 5:57:27 PM

  12. weird. just weird s**t. How can they think that--jeez, the dude musta been drunk; that's all I can think of.

    Posted by: DannyEastVillage | Oct 12, 2013 6:24:21 PM

  13. Shaftan's smile looks like Wiley E. Coyote's after he's been blown up by yet another Acme product.

    Posted by: tominsf | Oct 12, 2013 7:23:33 PM

  14. I raised my eyebrows on two aspects. First, suggesting Mr. Booker should have used the "perks of the office" to have sex with the stripper, thus creating a actual "scandal" to be used against him. Not that it is a scandal for a single man to have sex if he wants to.

    Second, how, like, you know, thoroughly, I don't know, maybe, inarticulate, he, I mean Mr. Shaftan, is, and, maybe, like, unable to say, if you get what I'm thinking, a coherent, you know. Sentence. That was enough to fire him.

    Posted by: jpeckjr | Oct 12, 2013 8:35:45 PM

  15. Errr, the special election for NJ Senator is next WEDNESDAY, Oct 16th...not Tuesday.

    Posted by: Ted B. (Charging Rhino) | Oct 12, 2013 9:02:06 PM

  16. lonergan probably paid him to do it

    Posted by: walter | Oct 12, 2013 9:20:55 PM

  17. Shaftan "shafted" himself!!! Dork. Doesn't belong in politics - restaurant service, maybe - in the kitchen. Chik-Fil-A?

    Posted by: Geoff | Oct 12, 2013 9:49:07 PM

  18. The election is Wednesday, not Tuesday and Lonegan was disabled in a car accident and nearly blind.

    Posted by: anon | Oct 12, 2013 10:08:05 PM

  19. Strategist. :Dx

    Posted by: AndyTowlette | Oct 12, 2013 10:46:53 PM

  20. Strategist. :Dx

    Posted by: AndyTowlette | Oct 12, 2013 10:46:53 PM

  21. Like a couple of other people, I was amazed that he managed to say something racist, sexist, and homophobic all at once.

    Posted by: Clayton | Oct 13, 2013 9:19:50 AM

  22. The special election is Wed [not Tues!] If you live in NJ please vote for Booker

    Posted by: Ted | Oct 13, 2013 10:38:32 AM

  23. Since Cory didn't rip off her bra and start motorboating her jubblies, that obviously means that he craves the penis.

    Posted by: FuryOfFirestorm | Oct 14, 2013 12:41:14 AM

  24. Lonegan is a small time small town politician who somehow got to the big time. Kind of like that Republican candidate for governor in New York the last time, except that was at least Buffalo. Although that guy was just as bad.

    Posted by: emjayay | Oct 14, 2013 2:06:47 AM

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