Newark mayor and New Jersey U.S. Senate candidate Cory Booker (D) mocked rumors about his sexuality during a performance Aug. 23 at Stu Bykofsky's Candidates Comedy Night, which benefits the Variety Club charities. His well-received comedy routine also included bits about being frequently compared to Obama, and his friendship with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R), as well asjokes about birth certificates, political pandering, and Oprah. Unlike several of the other candidates, Booker steered clear of raunchy humor.
Watch Booker's remarks:
He addressed the gay rumors while shooting down speculation by another candidate performer that he inseminated a panda.
Booker said, "I have been accused of some incredible things like being a KKK member, Jewish, Republican, gay, and a member of the CIA, but never inseminating a panda."
He also touched briefly on local politics.
"Why did George Washington cross the Delaware in a boat?" he asked. "Because even back then, the tolls were too damn high."
On the day of the event, Obama endorsed Booker as the Democratic candidate for the Senate in New Jersey. While proud of the endorsement, he carefully delineated the differences between the two.
"When Obama left school, he became a community activist. When I left school, I became a neighborhood coordinator," Booker joked. "President Obama was born in the United States. I was born in Washington, D.C. Given the way that they kept records back then, I may not be able to produce a birth certificate."
Booker made light of the criticism that he receives over his friendship with Christie. He also dismissed the possibility of any friction between them due to the governor's endorsement of his Republican opponent, Steve Lonegan.
"My opponents came after me for me being close to the governor of my state when I am mayor of the largest city," he said. "Last night, when I was with Mary Pat and Chris brushing our teeth, we expressed our frustration at the criticism."
Not one to take himself seriously, he mocked his celebrity status. Talking about the frustrations of the campaign trial, he said, "Thank goodness, I have Oprah to talk to."