Booker responds - or does he?

In this Sept. 4, 2012, file photo, Newark, N.J., Mayor Cory Booker addresses the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C. In a 1992 column in The Stanford Daily, his college newspaper, Booker wrote that he was "disgusted by gays" before a transformative experience with a gay peer counselor changed his views. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

WASHINGTON -- Officially, Cory Booker’s campaign team declined to comment on Sen. Frank Lautenberg’s words today suggesting he had to “spank” the Newark mayor for disrespect.

But, minutes after the no comment e-mail arrived, Booker wrote this on Twitter: “Often your best words are those you choose to keep to yourself.”

Of course, maybe he was just making a random philosophical observation, but somehow we doubt it.

Not after Lautenberg, speaking publicly for the first time since Booker said he was considering a run for Senate in 2014, said, “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." (More of his comments here).

Lautenberg, a New Jersey Democrat, was responding to a question about his aides anonymously telling other media outlets that Booker has been “disrespectful” as he openly flirts with a run for the seat Lautenberg holds.

Booker, also a Democrat, has filed to create a Senate campaign committee, but has not officially said he’s running. Lautenberg today also declined to say if he will run again.

Lautenberg had one other comment that may have been a more subtle dig – or just banter. You be the judge, but consider that Booker has come under criticism for being a national star, but not spending enough time in Newark:

“He and I both are committed to working in Newark,” Lautenberg said. “I go there every day, I can tell you that.”

As we’ve said here before, neither man is officially running yet, but it’s already a feisty contest.