Steve Lonegan, who won the New Jersey GOP primary to run for the late U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg’s seat, wasted no time in going after his opponent Cory Booker — slamming the Democratic mayor of Newark as a dyed-in-the-wool left-winger.
"This is the clearest line-in-the-sand election between a far left-wing liberal and a conservative," Lonegan told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.
Lonegan told Malzberg that he is going to make the election a "referendum on Obamacare."
"I am making it a referendum on Obamacare, on Obama's economic policies, on Obama's massive explosion of debt and spending, over the common core education intrusion into the education of our children," he said. "I'm putting all of these things on the table."
Booker, Lonegan said, "worships at the altar of big government. He wants more government spending, more entitlement programs, more debt. I want limited government, I want to cut spending, stop the debt, and unleash the animal spirits of American ingenuity."
Lonegan, the former mayor of Bogota, scoffed at what he believes are Booker’s misguided priorities.
"The three biggest issues that he sees in this race [are] gay marriage, taxpayer-funded abortions, and raising the minimum wage to $10.15 an hour," he said.
"If you raise the minimum wage to $10.15 an hour, every small business in New Jersey should just shutter their windows … This guy is just so far left-wing. I'm looking forward to all our debate over capitalism versus socialism, over big government versus limited government, over individual liberty versus sacrificing those liberties for government."
Lonegan added that "New Jersey is going to be the battleground over the future of the Constitution of the United States, the Bill of Rights, and individual liberty, and the whole country's going to watch this race.
"There's going to be an unabashed conservative running on our principles and I'm not backing off, not one inch and that's how we mobilize our base, that's why how we develop real energy, bring focus to the issues, and win this election."
In their respective primaries, Lonegan won the primary over Franklin Township physician Alieta Eck, who had never run for office, while Booker defeated U.S. Reps. Rush Holt and Frank Pallone and state Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver.
The winner will fill the final 15 months of Lautenberg who died in office earlier this year. New Jersey has had a history of electing only Democratic candidates to the Senate over the past four decades.
"The victory was terrific … The numbers were much bigger than people expected, which is really a validation of my platform and the fact that I have the whole Republican Party behind me in this race from Gov. [Chris] Christie right down to local mayors, councilmen, and most importantly, the grassroots," Lonegan said.
"Cory Booker, on the other hand, has been anointed as the next big senator by the Hollywood elite and those Silicon Valley moguls who have descended from their penthouse apartments at the Bel Air Hotel in the hills of Hollywood.
"The problem is California doesn't need a third senator; New Jersey needs a senator committed to this state and that's going to be me."
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