Click play for audio version of this story
A tweet from Democratic presidential candidate Julián Castro about safe drinking water in Newark is not an attack on Cory Booker, a campaign spokesperson said.
“Flint. Newark. Pittsburgh. San Juan,” Castro tweeted. “Too many families have suffered the burden of not having access to safe, clean water. I have a plan to eliminate this public health threat.”
The New Jersey Globe wondered if this was a Castro going negative on Booker, who served as Mayor of Newark for seven years before winning a U. S. Senate seat in 2013.
“This is not a negative attack on the Senator. The Secretary has an immense amount of respect for Senator Booker,” said Liza Acevedo, a Castro’s Deputy National Press Secretary. “He clearly mentions other cities that are in need of assistance. No need to take the tweet out of context.”
Acevedo worked for Gov. Phil Murphy and New Jersey Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin before joining the Castro campaign earlier this year.
Newark is in the process of replacing old water pipes after finding high levels of lead in the city’s drinking water system.
Most New Jerseyans say that Booker deserves at least some of the responsibility for the Newark water crisis, according to a Monmouth University poll released last week.
Nearly three out of ten New Jerseyans (28%) believe Booker bears a great deal of responsibility for the crisis, while 23% say some of the responsibility ought to be attributed to Booker. Another 10% say he gets a little responsibility and just 10% of the state says none of the problem rests on Booker’s doorstep.
The same poll placed Booker in fourth place among New Jersey Democrats in the race for the presidential nomination.
Joe Biden leads Elizabeth Warren in New Jersey by a 26%-20% margin, with Bernie Sanders in third place with 18%. Booker is at 9% and Castro barely registered among New Jerseyans.