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Rep. Tom Malinowski at the groundbreaking for the Portal North Bridge in August 2022. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for the New Jersey Globe).

Malinowski says Kean doesn’t have any solutions for inflation

Congressman says he’d love to meet doppelgänger starring in GOP ads 

By Joey Fox, October 07 2022 4:17 pm

“Instead of heeding economists’ warnings, Tom Malinowski followed Nancy Pelosi and backed billions in wasteful spending,” blares one ad aired by Republican Tom Kean Jr.’s congressional campaign. “Malinowski voted for trillions in new taxes and spending, sending inflation soaring,” declares another ad from a GOP super PAC.

But Malinowski, a second-term Democratic representative, responded today that though Kean may talk about inflation as a campaign tactic, Democrats are the ones who have passed legislation to actually address the issue.

“Congress just passed a major piece of legislation to lower health care costs, to lower prescription drug costs, and to accelerate the breaking of America’s dependence on foreign oil, which is one of the things that is causing this inflation,” the congressman said. “Tom Kean Jr. opposed every single one of those steps, and he has offered not a single alternative.”

Malinowski charged that Kean’s tendency to turn down media requests from some outlets, as well as the lack of detail on his website, make it hard for voters to know exactly what he would do if elected. (Kean consistently responds to requests from the New Jersey Globe, as does Malinowski.)

“His plan for fighting inflation is, ‘I’m going to end inflation,’” Malinowski said. “And if you try to ask him to give you more substance, he would run away.”

Inflation has been the key theme in Kean’s campaign for the 7th congressional district; he’s hammered Malinowski repeatedly on the high prices of everyday items like groceries and gas, saying that only a Republican Congress can rein in costs. Malinowski, meanwhile, has countered with messaging focused heavily on abortion, which some Republicans have proposed limiting or banning on a national level in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision.

The two issues have been in competition on the 7th district’s airwaves since August, when Malinowski started airing his first TV ad. So far, all but one of Malinowski’s TV ads have come from the congressman himself, while Kean has gotten more support from outside groups – including two ads utilizing a Malinowski doppelgänger to attack the congressman.

“I’d love to meet him,” Malinowski said of his body double. “I think he’s great, actually.”

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