WASHINGTON (CBSNewYork/AP) — U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) said Tuesday that Newark Mayor Cory Booker is entitled to run next year for the seat he now holds, but has yet to reveal his intentions.

But while talking with reporters in Washington on Tuesday, Lautenberg warned Booker that he likely would not be the only candidate “drooling at the mouth” over the job.

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Lautenberg’s comments on his fellow Democrat’s announcement he is weighing a Senate run came in interviews with The Philadelphia Inquirer and Gannett’s Washington bureau.

According to Gannett, when the 88-year-old senator was asked if there was a chance he wouldn’t run in 2014, Lautenberg said, “I don’t see that. But who knows?”

When Lautenberg was asked about whether Booker was being disrespectful, the Inquirer said the senator talked about how he gave his children a spanking when they were disrespectful and “everything was OK.”

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Booker has not officially announced a Senate campaign. Earlier this month he said in an interview he had filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission that allows him to raise money for a Senate campaign. But he also said the filing was a procedural step that had to be done so he could legally explore the possibility of running.

Booker, perhaps New Jersey’s highest-profile Democratic politician, last month turned down party leaders who wanted to see him challenge incumbent Gov. Chris Christie in this year’s gubernatorial election.

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