ELECTIONS

Sen. Cardinale Says Romney Could Win New Jersey

Republicans who last week were participating in the Republican National Convention are now back in their home states watching as the other side of the aisle hosts the Democratic National Convention. Sen. Gerald Cardinale (R-39), an RNC delegate, told NJ Today Managing Editor Mike Schneider that unlike the state’s governor, he believes Mitt Romney could win New Jersey in November because Independents and some Democrats are dissatisfied with the president.

Cardinale said voters have to decide which program they like better, the Republicans’ or the Democrats’. The basic difference between the two parties, he said, is the plan for the economy. He explained that members of both parties want to increase the number of jobs, but Democrats want to increase public sector jobs instead of private sector ones. “Private industry supports the economy,” he said.

While Cardinale has been outspoken about social issues during his political career, he said those issues aren’t the most important to the public right now. “What I hear from the general public is they’re really concerned about the economic system that we have,” he said. “Are we going to be able to continue to have opportunity, are our children going to have the same type of economic opportunity that we did?”

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The last Democrat in the White House, Bill Clinton, saw good economic times. Cardinale said that had to do with technology, which he pointed out was private sector. “We had all these technology companies starting up and Clinton was a beneficiary of that kind of thing happening,” he said.

Cardinale said the Obama administration doesn’t understand how to help the economy and giving money to municipalities and states to hire more public employees isn’t the answer. “By expanding — which he has done in spades — the federal bureaucracy, the federal employment numbers have gone up meteorically. He sees that as, well people have jobs and therefore people can spend money in the economy because they have these jobs. But that’s cost us $5 trillion,” Cardinale said. “And that debt is going to have to be paid probably by my great grandchildren.”

Gov. Chris Christie said at the RNC last week that Romney doesn’t have a chance to win New Jersey, but Cardinale isn’t sure that’s true. “It’s a long shot, but I think it’s possible. Let me give you a little known fact. In the Democratic primary this year in Bergen County there were 38,000 people who voted. … Nine thousand of them did not pull Obama’s lever,” he said. “I think there was some dissatisfaction with Obama within Democrats and I know that the Independents are not really happy with him.”

Cardinale said the job of New Jersey Republicans is to bring their message to the voting public, because Romney will likely use his campaign dollars to advertise in swing states instead of the expensive New York media market.

He also said people can’t discount the Tea Party, which he said has amazed him with members’ organization and ability to inform others.

When asked if he was actively working with the Tea Party, Cardinale said, “Well to some degree. I’ve gone to some of their meetings.”