Sen. Rand Paul, who has become a bit of a star in the Republican Party, endorsed Steve Lonegan for U.S. Senate today at a public rally. Lonegan told NJ Today Managing Editor Mike Schneider that the endorsement was energizing and he believes he will win the election because he has the clearest, most compelling message.
Lonegan called Paul’s endorsement a connection to the grassroots movement and a movement for libertarian and conservatism that’s sweeping the country. “Having Rand Paul into New Jersey was dynamic, it was exciting, the crowd was unbelievable, people were energized. And it’s just a sign of things to come, Mike, in the next 32 days,” Lonegan said.
Gov. Chris Christie, who has had public words with Paul, has also endorsed Lonegan but they have not all been together. Lonegan said it’s just been a timing issue. “Gov. Christie’s doing a fundraiser for me next Thursday night. We expect equally big, if not a bigger crowd and as much energy because we have all ends of the party, both sides of the party — middle, sideways, upside down,” he said.
Lonegan said the Republican Party is the party of individual liberty and freedom. “When we get to the very core principle of individual liberty, which is what my campaign is about, we have a message that resonates with everybody across the spectrum,” he said.
Conservative Republicans sometimes refer to the less conservative members of their party as Republicans in name only, or RINOs. Lonegan said that kind of rhetoric hurts the party. “I am advancing a message of individual liberty, about people having the right to keep the fruits of their labor, to keep their property, to be free of the intrusion of the NSA into their bank accounts or health care records and the revelations that are coming out every day about the intrusion of big government into our lives,” he said. “The Republican Party is a party of individual liberty and limited government. That message wins. And that’s what we’re gonna win on on Oct. 16.”
The latest Rutgers-Eagleton poll found Booker far ahead of Lonegan. Lonegan called the poll a farce. “The Eagleton poll is the same poll that had Jon Corzine beating Chris Christie, that had the embryonic stem cell ballot question — an issue you may remember — winning with some 70 percent of the vote the Thursday before the election. And I led the fight to defeat it,” he said. “This is a notoriously bad poll.”
Lonegan called the election a turnout race. “This is gonna be a hard fought election over the next 32 days. It’s gonna be about who works harder and who has the clearest, most compelling message,” he said. “I know I have the clearest most compelling message. That’s why I know I’ll win this election.”