Republican State Chairman Doug Steinhardt is accusing New Jersey Democrats of flip-flopping after backing legislation in a State Senate committee that would allow Cory Booker to run for president or vice president in 2020 and still seek re-election to the United States Senate.
Republicans say that in 2015, four Democratic legislators — Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg, State Sen. Raymond Lesniak, Assemblyman Gordon Johnson and Assemblywoman Marlene Caride — introduced bills that would force then-Gov. Chris Christie to resign if he sought the presidency.
“Senator Booker seems determined to take to the rest of the Country his record of making New Jersey dead last in what it gets back from Washington D.C., and the only way he’s willing to try is by hedging his bets. That’s not courage, that’s timidity, and the Democratic majority’s decision to endorse isn’t leadership,” Steinhardt said. “Once again, Trenton’s Democrats show the depths of their duplicity. Rather than legislate to protect the public’s interest, they legislate to protect themselves. And we let them. If Senator Booker cared about his home state more than his own political ambitions, he would pick a job and try to do it well.”
Those bills were introduced five months after Christie announced that he would seek the 2016 Republican nomination for president. The legislation never moved through committee and was largely symbolic, since Christie would have almost certainly have vetoed the bills. While some Republican legislators might have secretly liked to override the veto and show the governor the door, none would have likely voted that way in public.
Steinhardt wasn’t around for that, and he’s protecting the GOP message now.
“Governor Murphy and Democrats in the legislature should put New Jersey before politics for once and kill this bill,” he said.