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AP

Here's how Newark Mayor and U.S. Senate candidate Cory Booker (D) talked to the more-mainstream Washington Post about the gay rumors that surround him:

Booker says, he started dating more — although, he clarifies, not with Arianna Huffington, with whom he was rumored to have been involved. But he has kept that part of his life private because he says he needs some sacred spaces.

“Because how unfair is it to a young lady to put them in the spotlight if they haven’t signed up for that yet?” he says. “And people who think I’m gay, some part of me thinks it’s wonderful. Because I want to challenge people on their homophobia. I love seeing on Twitter when someone says I’m gay, and I say, ‘So what does it matter if I am? So be it. I hope you are not voting for me because you are making the presumption that I’m straight.’ ”

And here's how Booker's Senate opponent, Steve Lonegan (R), commented on that to the underground-y conservative Newsmax:

"It's kind of weird. As a guy, I personally like being a guy. I don't know if you saw the stories last year. They've been out for quite a bit about how he likes to go out at three o'clock in the morning for a manicure and a pedicure," Lonegan said.

He also told [radio host] Steve Malzberg: "I don't like going out in the middle of the night, or any time of the day, for a manicure and pedicure. It was described as his peculiar fetish . . .

"I have a more peculiar fetish. I like a good Scotch and a cigar. That's my fetish but we'll just compare the two."

Know your audience.

@eScarry

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