Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, a diehard Republican and founder of the Jewish Values Network, says he is supporting Democrat Cory Booker for U.S. Senate because of his dedication to the New Jersey city of Newark as its mayor.
"I love him and he's a very dear friend. I know his character, and I know what a special person he is. There are some things that transcend politics," Boteach told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.
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"Family, friendship, these are things that do transcend politics, and we're a very partisan country, and I don't agree with all the partisanship . . . I don't have to agree with Cory on all his policies to believe that he's the best candidate."
Boteach, author of "Kosher Sex," brushed off allegations that Booker — who is facing Republican Steve Lonegan for the vacant seat of the late Sen. Frank Lautenberg — has invented facts and may not live in Newark.
"Cory is an honest, truthful person to the extent that he's been called out on certain things. I don't know the particulars of those details because I wasn't there, but I do know countless other stories in Newark that I've witnessed myself," he said.
Repeatedly asked by Malzberg whether he had been to Booker's home in Newark, Boteach deflected. He said Booker works hard and still gets a bad rap for no reason.
"It's a very tough city. The residents know it, the mayor knows it, the city council knows it, and Cory went there because of the challenges. Now, he was a Rhodes Scholar. He had limitless opportunities when he graduated from Oxford and when he went to Yale, but he decided to go to Newark, New Jersey," Boteach said.
"Not a lot of people would have made that decision. And here, instead of him getting praise for it, he gets condemned for it."
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