After participating in the second and final debate for the vacant U.S. Senate seat in New Jersey, Republican nominee Steve Lonegan told NJ Today Managing Editor Mike Schneider that he never thinks that he does well enough in debates but that his team was pleased with his performance.
“I never think I do good enough or do well, but when I came off the stage my staff and my wife were thrilled with the debate,” said Lonegan. “They thought it was very clear, to the point, that my messaging was solid and I had substance. So apparently my base was very happy with the debate.”
After two debates, Lonegan said he actually likes his Senate opponent, Democratic nominee Cory Booker, even though they have different views.
“We meet off stage and he’s a likeable guy,” said Lonegan.
Throughout the debates, Booker referred to Lonegan as a member of the Tea Party. Lonegan said the reference doesn’t bother him and that it has helped his campaign.
“It doesn’t bother me, but it’s really what his consultants and his speaking coaches are telling him to say,” said Lonegan. “They have some polling numbers that tell him that resonates with their base. If you notice in the debate I don’t do that kind of thing. In fact I made quite a bit of money last night because I had people pledging 10 bucks all over the country every time he said Tea Party.”
With all the Tea Party mentions throughout the debate, Lonegan says that he made several thousands of dollars. He also mentioned that the donations were not a joke.
During the debate, Lonegan made some comments about the city of Newark and that dead bodies were in the river, which he claims are accurate.
“It’s true. It’s true. There have been bodies found in the river numerous of times over the last several years,” said Lonegan. “Twice I believe in the last six months alone.”
Lonegan said money that has gone to Newark and Trenton has entered a “black hole,” never to be seen again.
The Republican candidate believes that his policies could help the city of Newark despite his comments. Under his policies, Lonegan believes Newark would thrive.
With a week until the election, Lonegan is heading in hopeful. Despite the double digit margin between him and Booker, Lonegan says that he has seen that New Jersey is hungry for straight talk and integrity.