Booker’s Opponent Says “Dead Bodies” Floating In Newark Waters

This was the "greatest debate" in recent memory?

Cory Booker’s Senate opponent Steve Lonegan, who is somehow only down by around 15 points, delivered one of the most offensive–and least coherent–lines in recent memory during last night’s final U.S. Senate debate.

Cory Booker had been making the case for environmental regulation, arguing that rolling back anti-pollution standards, as Lonegan wants to do, would make local waters unswimmable. Lonegan responded thusly: “You may not be able to swim in that river, but it’s probably I think because of all the bodies floating around from shooting victims in your city.” The audience let out a little gasp, and Booker couldn’t believe his ears, saying “Oh my god.” (Jump to 38:00 mark for the exchange.)

In other news, veteran WHYY journalist Dave Davies called this one of the greatest debates he’d ever seen, wondering if it was a modern-day iteration of the famed Lincoln-Douglas battles of the 1850s. Seriously? This is the same debate in which Lonegan claimed same-sex couples having children would be a “biological phenomenon,” apparently forgetting about adoption and artificial insemination. And in which he called Newark a “big black hole” for state funding. Booker also made a joke about drinking games, though admittedly, it wasn’t bad. Was it entertaining? Maybe. High-minded and statesmanlike? Certainly not.