Tom Malinowski’s taking aim at Republicans’ fixation with a migrant caravan making its way north through Mexico, claiming his opponent’s party is using the issue to in attempt to scare voters over to their side.
“They chose to run on fear,” Malinowski said during a bonfire at a frigid park in Budd Lake Sunday night. “They chose their closing argument to be a few thousand poor people from central America a thousand miles from the closest U.S. border — they’re never going to reach our — border arguing that, somehow, they’re going to come to New Jersey and kill us all.”
Malinowski’s opponent, Rep. Leonard Lance, hasn’t made attempts to use the issue in his campaign. Those calls are coming mainly from President Donald Trump and are echoed by Republicans in districts that went for Trump by a fair margin but could still flip to Democrats, however slim the chances.
The strategy draws a sharp relief between Malinowski and other Democratic challengers in the state that have largely steered clear of Trump, fearing that attacking the president could backfire in historically-Republican districts like the third and the 11th.
But, the seventh district, where Malinowski is running, narrowly broke for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2016, suggesting that voters there might not be as receptive to Trumpian campaign tactics.
The problem that remains then is that Lance hasn’t engaged in those tactics, but it’s possible that won’t matter to Democratic voters who want to take control of Congress to secure a check on Trump.
“In the last two years, we’ve seen what’s happened to our country. We’ve seen division. We’ve seen hate. We’ve seen fear of immigrants, fear of minorities, fear of people because of the color of their skin, who they love or what their national origin is,” Morris County Chairman Chip Robinson said. “That’s not the America we believe in, and that’s why we’re going to make a resounding statement on Tuesday.”