Drawing the same contrast with Lonegan’s fierce conservatism that he did in the primary with the committed liberalism of Pallone and Holt, Booker said there is “a politics that says compromise is a dirty word and bipartisanship is as rare as a rainbow at midnight. I know my opponent [Lonegan] has strong beliefs and stronger rhetoric.”
“Know this about me,” he told the crowd. “I will match his negative attacks with positive vision. If he pulls up his fists, I will extend my hand. He wants to be a flamethrower, I want to be a bridge builder. But I cut my teeth in Newark. If he demeans a woman’s equality, I will affirm it. If he seeks to lower our gay brothers and sisters to second-class status, I will elevate them. If he attacks our cities and urban spaces, I will defend them.”
Booker laid out a policy agenda that included increasing the minimum wage, making the tax code fairer, ensuring pay equity for women, making New Jersey more economically competitive, reducing child poverty, reforming the criminal justice system, legalizing gay marriage, protecting abortion rights, protecting Medicare and Medicaid from cuts, and investing in infrastructure and in research and development.
Overall, it is a liberal policy agenda that Lonegan can’t wait to attack.
“The differences between Booker and myself could not be clearer,” Lonegan declared at his victory rally in Secaucus last night. “He wants to force Obamacare down your throats. I will vote and work hard to defund and repeal Obamacare."
"I believe in America . . . without the government in our way,” he said.
Lonegan also launched a class-oriented attack against Booker’s celebrity and wealthy backers that is more commonly made by liberal Democrats against conservative Republicans.
“Booker has the money and support of Silicon Valley moguls,” Lonegan sniped. They have their “martini glasses up. They have not been to New Jersey before. They do not know what a real street fight is. They are going to find out fast,” he vowed.
He derided Booker as a candidate “anointed by Hollywood,” who “descended from the heights of the Hollywood Hills,” then quoted Hollywood’s most famous -- and most conservative -- politician: “Ronald Reagan said we are just one generation away from losing our freedom. We are that generation,” Lonegan said. “We need to embrace small business, not big government. Embrace free enterprise, not entitlement [and] big debt."
“We must work hard to uphold that Bill of Rights -- so many died for our freedom -- not watch it be dismantled,” he said, then quoted Patrick Henry: “Give me liberty or give me death!”