House Speaker Paul Ryan came to New Jersey to stump for Assemblyman Jay Webber’s House campaign on Wednesday.
Locked in a tight race with former federal prosecutor Mikie Sherrill, Webber has been a staunch supporter of the tax package Ryan pushed through, often repeating a line put forth by the Republican-led House Ways and Means Committee that claims the tax cut saved the average family in the 11th district $6,000.
During his roughly five-minute-long speech, Ryan praised Webber for his record in Trenton.
“You have a very good man in Jay Webber. What’s important about Jay Webber is he’s proven, he’s tested, he’s known, he’s from here. You know him, he knows you, he knows North Jersey, he share’s your values and he is a kind and talented person,” Ryan said.. He will hit the ground running when he gets to Congress.”
Both Webber and Ryan spent much of their respective speeches praising Republican policies on the Capitol Hill and in the White House.
They credited the state of the economy to those policies, saying that Democrats sought to take the country backwards.
“With all this winning going on, why would we ever want to do something different? But that’s what Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats want to do. They want to go in a different direction,” Webber said. “And guess what, Nancy Pelosi has a handpicked candidate to run for Congress in the eleventh congressional district this year.”
The $6,000 tax savings figure, which Webber brought up in his short speech Wednesday, has been a point of dispute between the district’s candidates.
Sherrill claims that families in the district lose out overall because of the $10,000 cap imposed on state and local tax deductions and frequently uses Webber’s support of the tax changes to hit Webber.
“It is not surprising that Assemblyman Webber would bring the architect of the tax hike bill to our community. While Speaker Ryan punished New Jersey families, slashing the state and local tax deduction and threatening the future of Social Security and Medicare, Assemblyman Webber stood in lock step with his Washington agenda,” Sherrill said in a statement preceding Wednesday’s rally.
“Their record as career politicians pursuing an ideological agenda may bond Ryan and Webber, but they break with the majority of New Jerseyans who want their full state and local tax deduction back.”
It’s not clear how Ryan’s visit to the district will affect the race. While Ryan is the most popular caucus leader in Congress, it might be more accurate to say he’s the least unpopular.
A June Gallup poll pegged Ryan’s approvals 40%, with 45% disapproving, less underwater than every other caucus leader – the poll pegged House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s approvals at 29%-53%, for example – but underwater all the same.