Lonegan Tweet Considered Offensive Deleted
Aides to Republican Senate candidate Steve Lonegan have taken down a social media post that mimicked his debate prep notes that some found offensive.
A tweet Thursday by the Lonegan campaign said "just leaked - Cory Booker's foreign policy debate prep notes." It showed a map labeling parts of Newark "West Africa, Guyana, Portugal, Brazil" and other nations including Afghanistan and Pakistan.
The campaign manager for Booker, the Democratic front-runner in the Senate race, called the posting "offensive and fundamentally out of step with New Jersey values."
Lonegan aide Rick Shaftan tells Townsquare Media in an email that the the Booker campaign wasn't aware of the tweet until Politico first posted it on Friday morning. He says the post, which also appeared on the campaign's Facebook page, was taken down at Lonegan's request when he became aware of it Thursday night.
"Steve didn't find it funny or reflective of the way he thinks and asked that it be taken down immediately," Lonegan adviser Rick Shaftan said in a statement according to the Star Ledger. "And, as you know, it was."
The campaign noted that Lonegan himself did not sent the tweet. "It's not Lonegan's tweet. It's not from his personal account," Shaftan said. "Sometimes things happen in political campaigns. People put things out that are not reflective of what the candidate thinks."
He said the person responsible has been disciplined. "Everyone does stupid things," Shaftan said. " Steve's not a believer in throwing people over because they make mistakes."
Newark political leaders were upset by the tweet. "Yes Newark is made up of Africans, African Americans, Caribbean, Puerto Ricans, Domincans, South Americans, Portuguese, East Indians, and so on," Newark Councilman Ras Baraka said. "This is what makes our city beautiful and alive. We see this as an asset.We represent the majority of the world and the heartbeat of this country. If they view this as embarrassing, negatively or as a deficit then it is commentary on their backward thinking."
Lonegan is the GOP front-runner in Tuesday's special U.S. Senate primary. His campaign ads have been coming attacking Booker in anticipation of a match up in October.
The Associated Press contributed to this report