Assemblyman Jay Webber (R-26), who is also the former chairman of the New Jersey Republican State Committee, just returned home from the Republican National Convention (RNC) in Tampa. He sat down with NJ Today Managing Editor Mike Schneider to talk about the RNC as well the Democratic National Convention that is about to get underway in Charlotte, NC.
Upon leaving Tampa, Webber said he felt great about his party and its sendoff of the presidential and vice presidential nominees. He also spoke glowingly of Gov. Christie’s keynote speech and says he wasn’t alone in praising the governor’s performance. “Delegates that I spoke to both from New Jersey and around the country were very impressed, happy that he was keynote speaker and we’re certainly proud of him.”
He also spoke highly of Rep. Paul Ryan and his addition to the GOP ticket, dismissing any disappointment that Christie wasn’t selected to be Romney’s running mate.
“I like Gov. Christie right where he is running our state and I think Paul Ryan is a terrific young leader,” said Webber. “I think he demonstrated that at the convention and I think he really adds a lot to the ticket.”
As for the bizarre, much-talked about Clint Eastwood appearance? “Let’s just say I think there were better speeches given at the convention,” Webber said.
Recent polls indicate that the Romney/Biden ticket received little or no bump from the GOP convention. But Webber points out that the Republican candidates are now leading in some nationwide polls. Still, he says it’s all about the battleground states which will determine the outcome of the race.
According to Romney, the Democratic National Convention won’t change anyone’s mind about Barack Obama after three and a half years into his presidency.
“They either like him or don’t and that’s why I think the Republican convention was so important because Gov. Romney and Paul Ryan still has to introduce themselves to the American people and demonstrate that they have a better idea, better direction for the country.”
When asked to identify the areas in which President Obama is vulnerable, Webber cited federal spending and the Affordable Healthcare Act. He said Obama made a key mistakes by pushing an unpopular healthcare plan and equating federal spending to job growth.
“At the end of three and a half years, I think the president has more spending, more debt to show but no results. He’s got a healthcare plan that’s unpopular, unemployment that’s over 8 percent and I think that’s why you’re seeing a lot of dissatisfaction among the electorate.”
Not all Republicans have embraced the Paul Ryan budget plan. While he doesn’t say he endorses the plan, Webber calls it a a great starting point in tackling the mounting national debt.
“We’re not going to have any money for Medicare or Medicaid or any federal programs if we continue down the path Barack Obama has set us down,” he said.
After more than three years with Barack Obama in the White House, he says it’s time to try something else.
“I think Gov. Romney has set out a very solid five-point plan to get the economy going and after what we’ve seen the last three and a half years I think we ought to give it a try.”