In a nod toward different views of the future of the Republican Party in New Jersey, Republican State Chairman Doug Steinhardt said that Jon Bramnick does not speak for the state GOP.
Bramnick (R-Westfield), the Assembly Minority Leader, suggested last week that the New Jersey Republican brand in the post-Chris Christie, present-Donald Trump era needs to be kinder and gentler. He told Observer New Jersey that “we’re the Republican Party, but we’re not crazy,” Bramnick said. “We are not crazy or extreme. We’re reasonable.”
“I think it is important to make clear that he (Bramnick) does so as an individual and not on behalf of the NJGOP. Our State Republican Organization is a diverse group of individuals and organizations, with multi-faceted views on a variety of issues.” Steinhardt said in a Sunday afternoon statement. “Still, the core principles of the Republican State Committee are to fight for lower taxes and to reduce the intrusion of government into our everyday lives.”
In his Observer interview, Bramnick criticized Trump, but refused to criticize Gov. Phil Murphy.
“I am not going to engage during the next two years in partisanship or partisan politics just for the sake of partisan politics,” Bramnick told reporter Christian Hetrick. “I also am not going to be painted with a brush, a Republican brush, based on the tweets or some of the conduct that’s coming out of the White House.”
Since inauguration day, Steinhardt has emerged as the voice of his party’s vocal opposition to Murphy
“Governor Murphy’s extreme agenda of higher taxes, runaway spending, and giveaways to public employee union bosses at the expense of hardworking taxpayers isn’t reasonable, nor is it rational,” Steinhardt said. “Now is not the time for us to be passive, nor is it a time to tear down our President or each other, as we work to rebuild and rebrand as the Party of common sense, inclusion and fiscal responsibility. The future of our Party, the affordability of our State, and the quality of our lives are at stake.
Steinhardt called for state Republicans to stand together and offer a responsible fiscal vision to appeal to a diverse coalition of taxpayers.
“The NJGOP looks forward to working with our State, County and community leaders and alongside the teams of concerned New Jerseyans to develop a winning strategy that is beyond over reacting to the President’s tweets or simply waiting for the Murphy administration to make mistakes,” said Steinhardt. “This is a time of opportunity and for action. We can ill afford to sit by idly and let it pass.”