Tags: Biden | Booker | Jersey | campaign

Biden Cancels Campaign Appearance for Booker

Tuesday, 08 Oct 2013 04:03 PM

By Dan Weil

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Vice President Joe Biden has canceled a campaign stop for Newark Mayor Cory Booker in New Jersey's Senate race this week because of the government shutdown, Biden's office announced Tuesday.

Booker faces Republican Steve Lonegan Oct. 16 in the special election for the Senate seat left vacant by the death of Democrat Frank Lautenberg. Biden was to to appear for Booker Friday.

While Booker leads Lonegan by double digits in the polls, the margin has shrunk. Even Booker's allies criticize him for running a lackluster campaign.

Lonegan has made people question whether Booker is ready for prime time, according to some reports, and some of Booker's own actions have fueled that concern.

For example, at one point Booker appeared to encourage speculation that he might be gay. He has said he is not. And he reportedly told a stripper in a Twitter exchange that he loved her, which was later dismissed as a brief, but meaningless exchange.

But some critics say he also is prone to exaggeration, especially when it comes to relating stories about poor people he has met in Newark.

"Lonegan has successfully made the race about Booker," Democratic state Sen. Raymond Lesniak, told The New York Times. "The focus is on Cory’s warts."

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