01/27/2013 01:33 pm ET Updated Jan 27, 2013

Robert Menendez On Booker-Lautenberg 'Back-And-Forth': 'I'm Really Not Focused On' That (VIDEO)

While Newark, N.J. Mayor Cory Booker (D) and Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) are already talking 2014, Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) sees no need to engage in "all of the back-and-forth."

In a Sunday appearance on ABC's This Week, Menendez was asked by host Martha Raddatz whether Booker should be making his play now for Lautenberg's seat.

"You know, that election is next year," Menendez said, adding that he is "not really focused on" any potential race.

Lautenberg turned heads in a Tuesday interview with the Philadelphia Inquirer, where he compared Booker to one of his kids.

"I have four children, I love each one of them. I can't tell (you) that one of them wasn't occasionally disrespectful, so I gave them a spanking and everything was OK," the 88-year-old senior senator told the paper.

When asked by Raddatz whether Booker's actions were "disrespectful," Menendez said that question was better served for Booker and Lautenberg.

Back in December, Booker penned an op-ed in the Newark Star-Ledger, announcing that he was exploring a U.S. Senate run. He later clarified that while the post is one he is considering, a lot could change between now and then.

With a Senate tenure that stretches across more than three decades, Lautenberg retirement rumors have swirled in recent weeks. His spokesman dismissed those claims on Jan. 11 as "not true."



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