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Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe)

Bramnick says GOP will lose if their only message is ‘simply hating Murphy’

Minority Leader: ‘Simply being mad at the other side of the aisle isn’t a strategy for success’

By David Wildstein, June 30 2021 9:47 am

The top Republican in the State Assembly says that his party will not win elections simply by hurling venomous insults at the state’s Democratic governor, Phil Murphy.

“The path to victory for New Jersey Republicans is not simply hating Phil Murphy.  We must earn the respect of the voters and they must trust our candidates and our ‘brand,’” said Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick (R-Westfield).   “Simply being ‘mad’ at the other side of the aisle is not a strategy for success for Republicans in New Jersey.”

Bramnick insists that the way Democrats and Republicans speak to each other needs to change.

“I refuse to accept the concept that we cannot talk to our political opponents,” he said.  “I refuse to accept the concept that you must always attack your political opponents.”

Instead of launching vitriolic tirades, Bramnick wants Republicans to spend more time convincing voters on the merits of their policies.

“Our job is to convince voters that we are the smart choice to govern New Jersey,” Bramnick stated.

Murphy faces Republican Jack Ciattarelli, a former three-term assemblyman, in a state that has more than a million more Democrats than Republicans.

Bramnick has been advocating increased civility in government and politics for the last sixteen years, increasingly so after name calling increased dramatically during Chris Christie’s governorship and Donald Trump’s presidency.

In 2005, he introduced a resolution with Assemblyman Gordon Johnson (D-Englewood) that encourages New Jerseyans to treat one another with civility, kindness and respect.  The measure never made it out of the Assembly Judiciary Committee.

When the New Jersey Legislature reorganized in 2016, Bramnick made a passionate call civility in politics.

“Politics has gone from the art of statesmanship to an arena of insults, ridicule and showmanship,” POLITICO reporting Bramnick saying at the time. “Treating opponents with respect is no longer a cherished part of the American landscape, and that should be very troublesome to all of us.”

After four people were shot at a practice for a congressional baseball game in 2017 – the Virginia attorney general said the shooter was “fueled by rage against Republican legislators” — Bramnick and then-Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto held a join press conference calling for greater decorum in the legislature.

Bramnick is currently seeking an open State Senate seat in the 21st district, where Senate Minority Leader Thomas Kean, Jr. (R-Westfield) is retiring.

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