Last month, Buzzfeed published a breaking news listicle about NJ senatorial candidate Cory Booker, all about his fairly innocent and mighty boring Twitter exchanges with a vegan stripper from Portland. The non-controversy blew away pretty quickly for most people, but one Republican strategist for rival Steve Lonegan went on a bizarre rant to Talking Points Memo, claiming Booker's tweets to the stripper were "strange" and "like what a gay guy would say." And you'll never guess what happened next.
The strategist, Rick Shaftan, told TPM that he was weirded out because Booker did not take note of stripper Lynsie Lee's "great breasts." This perturbed him, because if Booker talked about them, then he'd be cool, or something:
"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 went on to say that the fact Booker didn't comment on "those great breasts" really makes you wonder, man: "It's just too odd and people they just wonder, like, who does this guy really want to work for? Who's he representing?" Later in the interview, Shaftan deflected his incisive inquiries onto Booker, claiming that since Booker has previously been asked about the rumors that he's gay (and he's been open about his homophobia as a young man), it's his fault Shaftan can't stop thinking about breasts and gay conspiracies: "It's just like, you know, he talked about being gay or whatever. ... It's like, dude, you're bringing all this shit up yourself."
Shaftan also compared Booker to Gary Hart and Larry Craig, because Shaftan is a fucking idiot. Thankfully, Shaftan's boss thinks he's an idiot too, and promptly fired him for the "distasteful and offensive" comments. "Mr. Shaftan's comments are not reflective of my views or that of my campaign," he said in a statement about his longtime adviser.
“I shouldn’t be talking anymore,” Shaftan told the Journal after the interview was printed. “I shouldn’t mouth off like that. It’s not representative of Lonegan, it’s representative of Rick Shaftan." Shaftan has accepted the blame on Twitter as well, saying, "On or off the record, my comments were inexcusable and unprofessional." This isn't the first time that TPM has caught a political aide ranting during this election cycle.