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Democratic congressional candidate Russ Cirincione

Cirincione smacks Pallone for endorsing Van Drew

Progressive tells longtime incumbent to retract statements praising party switcher

By David Wildstein, December 16 2019 8:54 pm

While Frank Pallone, Jr. was praising Jeff Van Drew on Friday and endorsing his re-election, Van Drew was at the White House plotting a party switch with President Donald Trump.

Now Russ Cirincione, a progressive challenging Pallone in the Democratic primary, wants the 17-term congressman to retract his endorsement.

Asked if he would support Pallone, who had been rumored to jump to the GOP for weeks, Pallone said, ““Absolutely. I love Jeff Van Drew. He’s great.”

“Why any Democrat would back a Republican-in-Democrat clothing is beyond my knowledge. Van Drew’s actions seem like a premeditated betrayal, but I would have never supported someone like Van Drew, who has a 100% approval rating from the NRA, has opposed raising the minimum wage while in the New Jersey legislature, and has been anti-impeachment,” Cirincione said.

Other Democrats, including Gov. Phil Murphy, U.S. Senator Bob Menendez, and Democratic State Chairman John Currie, declined to publicly back Van Drew after the freshman congressman announced that he would vote against impeaching Trump.

“I’m a real progressive Democrat, and I oppose Republicans. We need to defeat Republicans everywhere, not support them. It’s obvious that Republicans won’t work with Democrats,” Cirincione said.  “The only way I’d work with them is if I’m in office and they would sign legislation for anti-corruption provisions, Medicare for All, a Green New Deal and policies that support American workers.”

Cirincione also slammed Pallone for contributing over $13,000 to Van Drew’s campaigns, including $3,500  for his 2020 re-election bid.

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