Lonegan’s Own Words

Lonegan PC presserGOP U.S. Senate nominee declared in his primary victory speech last Tuesday night that he would not that he would not alter his message nor parse his words during his special election campaign against Democratic nominee Cory Booker.

In his appearance with NJTV’s Michael Aron this weekend (video not yet posted), Lonegan presented himself as a reasonable fiscal conservative focused on the economy.  He distanced himself from the Tea Party, which he characterized as an eclectic, leaderless network.

During an appearance MSNBC’s Weekends with Alex Witt yesterday afternoon, the former Bogota mayor again comes off as reasonable, not a radical, framed Booker as an extreme liberal and stuck to economic issues:


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This morning on Fox and Friends (also not yet posted Save Jersey has the video), Lonegan emphasized his Ridgefield Park roots, 32 year marriage, and two Gold Star Girl Scout daughters to make the case that he is representative of New Jersey and its values and that Booker is the liberal extremist.

Clearly and despite his vow not to change his rhetoric last Tuesday night, Lonegan has adjusted his rhetoric to increase his appeal to the general electorate.  He would have been wise to make that adjustment in June.

Because Booker and his friends are going to go out of their way to present New Jersey voters with Lonegan’s history of extreme in your face rhetoric.

A Democratic PAC, American Bridge 21st Century, has come out with an attack ad against Lonegan featuring his best hits:


The Star Ledger’s Paul Mulshine writes that the ad could backfire and fire up the Republican base.  I think that is wishful thinking.

The ad, and more like it that are probably on the way, could just a easily remind Lonegan’s former supporters in the conservative base why they left his side and convince moderate Republicans why they think Lonegan can’t win.

Prior to reviewing the primary results on Wednesday morning, Lonegan and his chief strategist Rich Shaftan seemed to be operating on the assumption that Democrats wouldn’t be motivated to participate in the Special Senate Election and that they could win on October 16 by ginning up New Jersey’s conservative base who would be more motivated to turn out to vote.

But New Jersey’s conservative base is fractured.  Lonegan and Shaftan caused a lot of the fracturing in the base over the last four years and continued to do so as recently as the Saturday before the primary when the candidate suggested his primary opponent, Dr. Alieta Eck, leave the Republican party.

More than twice as many Democrats than Republican turned out to vote in the primary, indicating that the Dems are more juiced by the Special Election than Republicans are.

Now Lonegan needs the support of many conservatives and moderates that he has previously poked in the eye, rhetorically.

Lonegan’s challenges over the next 57 days are to 1) motivate moderate Republicans to get engaged in the Special Election.   If he gets them engaged, they will vote for him and 2) convince Independent voters that is not an extreme radical conservative, at the very least in temperament, that Booker and Democratic PACs will be portraying him to be, with his own words.



Posted: August 19th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Senate Special Election, Steve Lonegan | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments »

18 Comments on “Lonegan’s Own Words”

  1. which he characterized as an eclectic, leaderless network. said at 9:51 am on August 19th, 2013:

    Must be talking about the BSTPG 🙂


    Silence Dogood, Redux

  2. Joe Centonzi said at 11:26 am on August 19th, 2013:

    “The ad…could just a easily remind Lonegan’s former supporters in the conservative base why they left his side and convince moderate Republicans why they think Lonegan can’t win.”


    “…Lonegan and his chief strategist Rich Shaftan seemed to be operating on the assumption that Democrats wouldn’t be motivated to participate in the Special Senate Election and that they could win on October 16 by ginning up New Jersey’s conservative base who would be more motivated to turn out to vote.”

    Wrong on both counts. On October 16 Lonegan is going to find out just how many enemies he made and bridges he burned in the Conservative Movement.

    But New Jersey’s conservative base is fractured. Lonegan and Shaftan caused a lot of the fracturing in the base over the last four years and continued to do so as recently as the Saturday before the primary when the candidate suggested his primary opponent, Dr. Alieta Eck, leave the Republican party.

  3. Gene B. said at 11:52 am on August 19th, 2013:

    I agree that it seems like a strange campaign tactic to turn off the people who are required to support you if you want to have a chance – even a small chance in hell.

  4. Gene B. Part Two said at 12:18 pm on August 19th, 2013:

    More on reducing a small chance in hell to almost no chance in infinity…

    Romney tried this tactic on a national scale. He was fooled into believing that he could throw away energetic segments of the party in order to attract a new improved family.

    I suggest that Steve hires a full time preacher for his campaign staff to help lead a massive miracle crusade.

  5. Terrific: said at 2:27 pm on August 19th, 2013:

    let’s continue the mass-suicide and split-hairs and further divide the party, and give the Ordained One, Cory, an even bigger plurality: we need another lib in DC voting the Obama destruction agenda, about as much as we need a nuclear or terrorist attack: keep it up, gang, and let the other side again get the last laugh,and bigger plurality,against us! You finally get somebody who espouses most of your views and values in a conservative message and attack, and instead of sucking up past grievances and battles, you pile on,and make things worse: we will never succeed when we are fighting our own,more than the enemy.. It’s both frustrating and exhausting!

  6. Bob English said at 2:32 pm on August 19th, 2013:

    The videos are killers for Lonegan. And while its smart politically for Lonegan to follow the advice offered by MMM last June and be a reasonable conservative, his history (caught on tape) clearly shows that is not who he really is.

    I’ve asked before (and will probably ask again) but since a special election offers the R’s probably the best chance they will ever have in NJ to capture a US Senate seat, how do they end up with basically an uncontested primary with the winner being so far to the right that he (Lonegan) has almost no chance of winning the general election?

  7. Because nobody wants said at 3:33 pm on August 19th, 2013:

    to run, raise the money for, and lose a tough race- we call it fondly:”incumbency protection”.. No Rep.with any record or name I D would take on the Ordained One- that’s why.. Much easier to get re- elected to what they are now- can’t give up that title/ being in charge of something! Had Pallone beaten Booker, they’d all have been tripping over themselves to grab that Congressional seat: always with the higher ambitions for themselves- as long as it’s a pretty good bet!!

  8. "so far to the right" said at 3:50 pm on August 19th, 2013:

    Bob, please explain this whole “so far to the right thing” to me. Are you sure that the problem isn’t that the left has moved “so far to the left”?

    I mean, you lunatic, liberal clowns have Bill deBlasio on the TV with his his, not even of legal voting age, kid espousing “only he will raise taxes on the rich”. Sane Democrats, which you clearly are not, back in the 80s had this debate with Mondale, Dukakis and Jackson — they elected that “far right” Reagan over the “far left” idea of running on a platform of raising taxes. Now a few short years later, your party is openly running on that platform that was once COMPLETELY rejected, and yet you claim it’s the other side that has shifted “far”? Idiot.

    And this is what bugs me about your attitude; you just keep spouting the same thoughtless non-sense that you read on MSN, have no unique thoughts of your own, and then you try to pretend that you’re somehow a middle of the road kind of guy. Face the fact, you’re so far to the left that Mondale’s tax plan isn’t good enough for you and your whole party has shifted “so far to the left” that you can’t even see where the middle might have once existed. Fool, and the American people who vote with you too.

  9. Exactly right, "so far," said at 4:42 pm on August 19th, 2013:

    you just nailed the whole thing!

  10. Bob English said at 5:05 pm on August 19th, 2013:

    @so far the right…sorry I did not vote for Mondale (voted for Reagan in 1984) and for that matter did not vote for Dukakis either (voted for Bush I)…and I do a lot of reading but not MSN!!

    Maybe rather than using the phrase “so far to the right” to describe Lonegan, a better one would be “out of step with the majority of NJ voters.” At any rate, my main point was proposing the question of how the party ended up with a non competitive primary and a candidate that is likely to lose by 20 points when there are other R’s that likely would have run a more competitive race? (fyi, same thing can be said about the D’s in the govs race.)

    As for what party moved, someone with Ronald Regan’s ideas and record would have likely been booed off the stage in a 2012 Republican presidential debates by the kind of crowd that showed up. Take a look at the Reagan/Bush debate in 1980 where they were basically trying to out moderate each other on immigration, or the fact that Reagan raised taxes several times to try to keep the deficit under control, or the fact that the national debt nearly tripled while he was President or that Reagan was talking his version of the “Buffet Rule” long before there was a Buffet Rule. And god forbid if Reagan said he was willing to compromise to get a good part of what he wanted….I can just hear the boos now!!!!

    The R’s that control the Republican party in 2013 have moved far to the right of Ronald Reagan.

  11. Lonegan Visits Fox & Friends | The Save Jersey Blog said at 5:44 pm on August 19th, 2013:

    […] MMM has video up of the former mayor’s other post-primary appearances for those interested. […]

  12. Lois said at 6:19 pm on August 19th, 2013:

    I agree totally with “Terrific” above. Time to keep our eye on the prize——-WINNING A REPUBLICAN SEAT IN WASHINGTON (!)

    NOT time to nit-pick or stay hung up on Steve’s missteps in the past/to keep looking back–instead of forward to our beloved country in the months/year ahead and at what the Dem’s want to turn it into…. (AAAGHHH-God spare us!!!)

    You want the Lib’s to keep calling all the shots?? I sure don’t. I caught Steve on Fox & Friends this morning and was impressed with everything he said. He, not Booker, is what we so desperately need in Washington now.

    IS time to talk persuasively to every single breathing voter with an ounce of intelligence. The choice is stark; the stakes high; we need the Republican (underlined) to be elected, and we need all of us working our fannies off to help that happen.

  13. Not Good News Lois said at 9:46 am on August 20th, 2013:


    It’s especially bad when 16% of Republicans defect to Booker.

    “Each candidate was favored overwhelmingly by his party, though Booker’s 16 percent among Republicans tripled the 5 percent of Democrats who back Lonegan.”

    I wonder why is the key question here.

    It’s a a tall order for Steve to achieve a win over a short campaign. It’s doable with the right message and with a lot of money, but it’s looking impossible.

    “Just sayin” so “don’t shoot the messenger.

  14. Lois said at 10:35 am on August 20th, 2013:

    Hi NGN-Lois—- fair enough: that’s the down side/gloomy outlook – BUT, not necessarily the ‘truth of the matter’ or the foregone outcome.

    I’m saying let’s not get distracted. Let’s focus on what IS possible – keep that desire/vision/dearly-hoped for outcome in mind! —– and go to work to bring it to pass!

    Undeterred. Undistracted. Hope-full. Determined. Committed. NOT wishy-washy. We can do it!! GO STEVE GO!!!

  15. so far to the left said at 10:36 am on August 20th, 2013:

    Bob, you’re still spouting MSN garbage.

    In 2012, the people of the Republican party nominated Willard Romney, he’s certainly not a “far to the right” kind of guy and then nearly 48% of the population proceeded to vote for the — if it was 1984 — middle of the road guy that is Romney while the other barely 50% voted for FAR TO THE LEFT Obama. In other words, Republicans voted for the same guy in 2012 that they voted for in 1984 — the party, the people, who shifted were the Democrats — 40% of you voted for Mondale — Obama moved FAR TO THE LEFT of Mondale and 50%+ of you Democrats voted for him. YOU SHIFTED FAR TO THE LEFT.

    Of course, why would NJ voters elect a middle of the road Republican when you Democrats are on TV promising the world and all you need to do is run on the platform that you’ll raise taxes (on the rich)?

    …to fund free preschool and afterschool programs (while the rich send their kids to private schools/daycare centers)
    …to fund mass transit in urban areas (where the rich don’t live and don’t use public transit)
    … to hire more police (who write traffic tickets to the rich who can afford to pay them and while ignoring increasing crime rates and growing gang affiliations in urban areas)
    …to provide “afford housing” (moving people who are statistically more likely to do things like drop out of school and commit crimes into their neighborhoods)
    …to ease immigration laws (making it more likely to get additional voters — into affordable housing — in upper class areas — diluting the “rich” suburb vote)

    You and your fellow Democrats are fools who have moved FAR TO THE LEFT. Unfortunately, the population that your kind preys on is too poorly educated through the public education system that you provide them with (at the expense of the rich) to see it. Meanwhile while your on all day “news” for you and your fellow unemployed leaches have convinced you and your fellow feeble minded friends to just keep repeating the lie that Republicans have moved “far to the right” — knowing that you can’t comprehend basic statistics to see how false that statement really is and wouldn’t believe it even if someone pointed it out to you.

  16. @ So Far To The Left said at 11:42 am on August 20th, 2013:

    Amen, especially with regards to the comparisons in the middle of your post

  17. Bob English said at 12:18 pm on August 20th, 2013:

    @so far to the left. For the record, the voting percentages in the 2012 Presidential election were Obama 51.1 and Romney 47.2% Obama won by 3.9% including all but one of the battleground states. Not a landslide but not really close either.

    If the MSN you keep referring to is MSNBC?, you obviously watch it more than I do since you seem to know what is on their broadcasts. I would guess my total viewing of that channel is under one hour (combined) in 2013. If MSN is something else, than I don’t even know what you are referring to.

    I would suggest that the 2008 version of Romney would have done better in terms of getting votes from D’s and Independents than the 2012 version. Back than I thought that a moderate Republican Governor from the northeast or midwest like Romney could make inroads in several blue states and be a very strong contender for the presidency. He definitely shifted to the right once he was a candidate in order to appeal to conservatives and tea party types which decide on who the party’s nominee is going to be. That helped him to get the nomination but definitely hurt him in the general election (even though one of his campaign managers tried to hit the “reset button.”)

    As for your arguments that the D’s have shifted to the left since the 1980’s, note that you have a President (Obama) that was proposing trillions in spending cuts in 2011 as part of a possible “grand bargain” on deficit reduction and you also have a President (Obama) who recently offered a plan to cut the corporate income tax….that does not sound like a shift to the left to me!!! The last Democratic President prior to Obama was Clinton, who definitely was not considered a liberal….but did manage to leave a yearly budget surplus by the end of his presidency.

    As for NJ voters, they favored Obama by 17% in 2012 but they also favor Christie in 2013 by a very wide margin who is a moderate Republican governor by national GOP standards. Regarding the NJ educational system, it consistently ranks in the top three in the United States on standardized test scores.

    FYI, my theory on elections in NJ (and most other states) is that in most cases a D or R will each get 40% of the vote no matter what. It’s the 20% in the middle (many of whom in New Jersey are Independents) that decide who wins and who loses. Not to pick on Lonegan, but if he or any other Republican or D candidate in NJ does not get a majority of that 20%, it is not going to be a happy time at their headquarters on election night.

  18. MoreMonmouthMusings » Blog Archive » Monmouth Poll Shows Booker’s Weakness said at 8:30 pm on August 20th, 2013:

    […] needs to humanize himself.  A self-depreciating joke about his past ranting rhetoric and a moving story about over coming his real handicap would make him likeable and more heroic […]