Just over two months ago, on the night Steve Lonegan won the Republican nomination, American Bridge sent the memo below arguing that Lonegan’s brand of extremism was perfectly in line with the “new” & “rebranded” Republican Party.
If Washington Republicans’ reckless and embarrassing behavior over the past three weeks weren’t proof enough, take a look at what RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said at a Lonegan campaign rally just last night. (VIDEO HERE)
“I’ll tell you what. Steve’s been able to do something that we need a lot more of in this party. And that’s unify our party, bring our party together. The Tea Party, the Republican Party, all in this together.”
— Reince Priebus, RNC Chairman
What Mr. Priebus doesn’t seem to understand is that the Republicans’ problem isn’t a lack of unity with the Tea Party. This month’s shutdown fiasco proves the GOP’s problem is, in fact, its obedience to the Tea Party.
If even Reince Priebus — the same person who ordered the RNC’s infamous autopsy — sees self-professed “right-wing radical” Steve Lonegan as “something that we need a lot more of in this party,” it’s more clear than ever that Republicans haven’t learned a thing.
To: Interested Parties
From: American Bridge 21st Century
RE: Steve Lonegan: Face of the GOP Rebrand
With New Jersey’s Senate race now entering the general election phase before the special election in October, the spotlight turns to Republican nominee Steve Lonegan as the face of the GOP rebrand. In perhaps the most prescient statement of his campaign, Lonegan predicted that his race would set the tone for the 2014 election cycle. As the Republican Senate nominee in a state that voted for Barack Obama, Lonegan’s candidacy is an indication of what voters can expect from the implementation of the RNC’s post-2012 autopsy.
Lonegan, who chose to unburden himself to reporters last weekend about overcoming his “handicap” of being “a white guy,” is indeed a perfect example of Republicans’ “new” efforts to appeal to more voters.
Rather than acknowledge Republicans’ shortcomings broadening their appeal to voters who have been turned off by their extreme rhetoric, Lonegan and Republicans are doubling down on the same policies that voters rejected. With Steve Lonegan as the current face of the rebranded GOP, it is clear that nothing has changed.
LONEGAN ON OBAMACARE
Video: Lonegan Said, “I’ll Be As Callous And Uncaring As You Can Imagine. I Have No Interest In Paying For Your Health Care. I’d Hate To See You Get Cancer, But That’s Your Problem Not Mine.” During a debate on the Affordable Care Act, Lonegan said: “Well, I’ll go one step further. I’ll be as callous and uncaring as you can imagine. I have no interest in paying for your health care. I’d hate to see you get cancer, but that’s your problem not mine. I’m going to pay for my health care, I’m going to take care of my children’s health care and tend to my wife. And when I stand for charity care (inaudible), you no one else has the authority to infringe on my right (inaudible) dig into my pocket and my ability to pay to pay for your health care or anybody else’s.” [Hudson Valley Debate Union On The Affordable Care Act, 07/07/11]
LONEGAN ON IMMIGRATION
Lonegan Criticized McDonalds For Creating A Spanish Language Billboard And Sending A “Divisive” And “Unfair” Message. According to The Record, “In a letter sent to McDonald’s on borough letterhead, Mayor Steve Lonegan said the River Road advertisement for the company’s new iced coffee drink sends a ‘divisive’ and ‘unfair’ message that immigrants and other Spanish speakers do not need to learn English or assimilate into the community.’” [Record, 07/14/06]
Lonegan Called For McDonald’s Boycott Due To Spanish Language Billboard. According to the Star-Ledger, “Lonegan said he called the billboard company earlier this week and asked that the advertisement be taken down after several residents called him to complain that it was in Spanish. ‘We are a very ethnically diverse community and we’re proud of that,’ said Lonegan, the grandson of Italian immigrants. ‘But I happen to think the billboard is divisive. I think there’s resentment from some parts of the community. ‘If they don’t want to take that billboard down,’ Lonegan added, ‘I don’t want to buy their products and maybe other Americans like me should share that thought. We should boycott McDonald’s.’” [Star-Ledger, 07/08/06]
LONEGAN ON DISASTER RELIEF
Video: Lonegan Questioned The Fairness Of Disaster Relief Funds For Hurricane Sandy Victims, Said That “If We Are Going To Look At Someone’s Home Being Destroyed In A Hurricane, And That Is Tragic For Them To See Their Home Being Destroyed, But Remember That Every Day Around This Country, Somewhere, Somebody Is Suffering A Tragedy Of Equal Or Worse Impact And We Don’t Run And Hand Them A Check.” During an interview with New Jersey Today, Lonegan said: “If we are going to look at someone’s home being destroyed in a hurricane, and that is tragic for them to see their home being destroyed, but remember that every day around this country, somewhere, somebody is suffering a tragedy of equal or worse impact and we don’t run and hand them a check.” [Lonegan Interview On New Jersey Today, 12/17/12]
LONEGAN ON MITT ROMNEY’S 47% COMMENTS
Video: Lonegan Said Mitt Romney’s 47% Video Was “The Boldest Thing He Said In The Campaign.” During an interview for the show New Jersey Today With Mike Schneider, Schneider asked: “When you heard the tape, surreptitiously recorded, now infamous tape, how did you react when you heard that?” LONEGAN: Well, I think it’s the boldest thing he said in the campaign. The problem is he didn’t back it up. Now 47% I don’t think is the real number. I think it’s a much smaller number than that.” [Lonegan Interview New Jersey Today, 09/25/12]
LONEGAN ON SOCIAL SECURITY
Video: Lonegan Said That His Biggest Regret When Rick Perry Called Social Security A Ponzi Scheme Was That Perry “Didn’t Stick To His Guns.” During a debate hosted by News 12’s Power & Politics: “INTERVIEWER: People might say at what cost. Steve? LONEGAN: At an enormous cost. You know, a ponzi scheme, years ago Charles Ponzi came up with a scheme where he had a bunch of people invest money into an investment plan, I’m not going to go into the details, and their return on investment, their principal in interest, was based on revenue from the next investor. This plan never had any money in it. This is a ponzi scheme. You know, the biggest disappointment I had last week when Rick Perry came out and called Social Security a ponzi scheme, and all the controversy around it, is that he didn’t stick to his guns, because it is.” [News 12’s Power & Politics, 10/12/11]
Video: Lonegan Called Social Security “The Biggest Single Threat Facing America Today.” During a debate hosted by News 12’s Power & Politics, Lonegan said: “And you’re watching the marketplace today and the confidence in American currency, you’ll see what’s happening to that. This is a real threat to the future of this nation. It’s the biggest single threat facing America today. More than half of the federal government is Social Security and Medicare, and it’s going to bankrupt this country.” [News 12’s Power & Politics,10/12/11]
LONEGAN ON MEDICARE AND MEDICAID
Video: Lonegan Said Medicare and Medicaid Needed To Be Privatized. During a tea party meeting, Lonegan said, “I didn’t hear Mark Levin’s ideas about Medicare and Medicaid but I think they are destined for destruction for the next generation. I think they should be redone away with and privatized. That’s what I think.” [Mahwah Tea Party Steve Lonegan Part 3, 11/20/10]
LONEGAN ON TAXES
Video: Lonegan Vowed To Return To A Flat Tax. During his speech to CPAC, Lonegan said: “We are going to eliminate the destructiveness and immorality of the progressive income tax and replace it with a flat tax.” [CPAC 2009]
Video: Lonegan Said “Now People Are Going To Say Doesn’t This [Flat Tax] Mean A Tax Increase On The Poor? Yes It Does.” During a press conference Lonegan said: “But I want to focus today on tax policy and bring economic prosperity back to New Jersey. Now people are going to say, doesn’t this mean a tax increase on the poor? Yes it does.” [Steve Lonegan For Governor Campaign Press Conference PT 2, 02/19/09]
LONEGAN ON GUN VIOLENCE
Video: Lonegan Lamented That At Sandy Hook Elementary School, “In My Mind I Could Only Wish That School Principal Was Only Armed.” During an interview with New Jersey Today, Lonegan said: “Those poor mommies and daddies, for than anybody. And to sit back and to think this thing through carefully. In my mind I could only wish that school principal was only armed [In the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary].” [Lonegan Interview On New Jersey Today, 12/17/12]
LONEGAN BEING LONEGAN
Video: Lonegan Flipped Off A Reporter. In a film from Republic Report after being asked multiple questions while walking, Lonegan turned around and wordlessly flipped the reporter off. [Steve Lonegan Flips Off Reporter Who Broke Story Of His Campaign Fraud, 03/27/12]
LONEGAN ON MINIMUM WAGE
Video: Lonegan Declared, “I’m A Right Wing Radical. I Don’t Believe There Should Be Any Minimum Wage Laws.” During a speech to the Camden County GOP,Lonegan said: “But, do you know how many jobs would be created in a city like Camden if there was no minimum wage, and kids in high school could get jobs making, maybe five, six bucks an hour? But it’s a job. It’s better than being on the streets. It’s learning how to work, and it’s learning how to produce. So we’ve forgotten that very core economic principle, so yeah, I’m a right-wing radical. I don’t believe there should be any minimum wage laws. I think we should open up the private sector to grow, to create jobs and let people make their own decisions between themselves.” [Camden County GOP, 7/24/13]