Republicans are touting Mitt Romney’s performance in the first presidential debate. The GOP challenger is widely regarded to have outdueled President Obama last night. Leading up to the debate, Gov. Chris Christie had predicted that Mitt Romney would use the debate to turn the presidential race around. NJ Today Managing Editor Mike Schneider got reaction from the Republican leader of the New Jersey state senate — Tom Kean, Jr. (R-21).
Kean was unequivocally glowing in his remarks on Romney’s debate performance.
“He was clear, he was crisp, he offered real solutions, was enthusiastic, energized, showed he was competent, ready to run and serve as president of the United States,” said Kean. “And it was an important contrast from the president who looked like, he really didn’t want to be there and wasn’t engaged in the debate in any shape or form.”
According to the latest poll, Romney trails President Obama in New Jersey by double digits and many Romney supporters, including Chris Christie, have written off the state as a win for Obama. But Kean says last night’s performance will certainly help Romney to gain ground in the Garden State.
“I think that last night’s performance will continue to propel his success and I think that we’re going to have a very good race here in New Jersey and I think he has a great shot to win.”
Some analysts have pointed out that the budget proposed by Romney’s running mate Paul Ryan would have a detrimental effect on New Jersey. According to Kean, New Jersey is already being shortchanged by Washington, D.C.
“Already for every dollar we send down, we only get back 62 cents which shows we have [an] extraordinarily ineffective Senate. Secondly, for the U.S. Senate, or any of those Democratic senators, to impugn budgets they’ve been offered in the past by a chamber of congress when the senate has not passed a budget for this country in the last three years is silly.”
State Sen. Joe Kyrillos (R-Monmouth) is scheduled to debate incumbent Bob Menendez (D-NJ) for U.S. Senate tonight. Kean said Kyrillos needs to take the opportunity to highlight his accomplishments in the New Jersey Senate.
“Anyone who’s been talking about job creation in New Jersey, they’ve been talking about Joe Kyrillos’ ideas. Whenever anyone’s been talking about education reform they’ve been talking about Joe Kyrillos’ solutions. When they’ve been talking about how to create efficiency in government so our tax burden are less, Joe Kyrillos has been at the tip of the spear. I think that’s a sheer contrast from his opponent whose main claim to fame is being known as an abject partisan.”
Kean spoke of job creation under Republican leadership in his attempt to draw a sharp contrast with previous Democratic administrations.
“When you look at the loss of private sector jobs across the span of the decade as opposed to what Gov. Chris Christie and his Republican allies in the state senate have been doing on a state level where we’ve been creating private sector jobs and creating opportunities, fighting for common sense reform, making sure people can have jobs and opportunities for this generation and the next.”
Although unemployment remains high throughout the country, Kean pointed out a recent poll that showed that most New Jerseyans think the state is headed in the right direction.
“They’re optimistic about the future, they’re optimistic about the real solutions that we’re crafting on job creation, about shrinking the size of government, on pension and benefits reform, a whole host of issues to make sure every kind in every zip code has an opportunity to be career ready or college ready at the end of their high school career.”