NJ Republican candidate on video calling diversity ‘a bunch of crap’
ATLANTIC CITY — A congressional candidate who ran on a platform of "Support Trump" called diversity a "bunch of crap" during an event earlier this year.
Seth Grossman, an attorney, said his comments in the video — which was first reported on by the Philadelphia Inquirer, and which was released by Super PAC American Bridge 21st Century last week — were an answer to a question he was asked during his four-way primary race back in April.
"I guess the irony of it, is my view, the best way to bring diversity to the Republican party, is for Republicans to openly say that the whole idea of diversity is a bunch of crap, and unamerican" Grossman is heard saying in the video.
He went on to say in the video the Constitution is designed to incorporate ideas laid out in the Declaration of Independence that "everybody is treated equally under the law."
"Now what diversity has become, it's been an excuse, by Democrats — communists and socialists basically — to say that we're not all created equal," Grossman continues in the video. "That some people ... if somebody is lesser qualified, they will get a job anyway, or they'll get into college anyway, because of the tribe that they're with — what group, what box they fit into. You know, woman, African American, Hispanic — they're chopping us up in these different pieces and getting us fighting against each other instead of spending our time saying everybody should be judged by their own talent, their work, they're savings, and consequences."
Grossman said in the video that once Republicans do that, African Americans would find immigration enforcement would create opportunities for all Americans. And he answered a concern that women need accommodations for childcare by saying "When America was great, one parent alone earned more than enough money to comfortably support a family.
"That's what happened before we chopped Americans into boxes and said 'I'm entitled to something because I'm part of this group," he said in the video.
Speaking to New Jersey 101.5 Monday, Grossman said he made his comments because "diversity is not a qualification."
"Somebody is not entitled to a job, a promotion or a scholarship just because they are part of a certain ethnic group or racial group or gender," he said. "In America people should be judged by their character, their talent and their hard work. By denying qualified people positions they earn because they're not part of the right box is wrong and it's unamerican."
Grossman said he is committed to President Donald Trump's slogan of "Make America Great Again," and believes that diversity, which he called a "code word to discriminate against people" is getting in the way of the country being great again.
As he runs against Democratic State Senator Jeff Van Drew to replace retiring Republican Rep. Frank LoBiondo, Grossman pointed to diversity as being one of the reasons his party did not win last November's gubernatorial election. Grossman said he believed Republican gubernatorial primary candidate Jack Ciattarelli was the right choice because former Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno, who won the primary and ran against Phil Murphy in the general election. was "joined at the hip to the most unpopular governor in New Jersey history," adding, "how did that work out?"
In a statement to New Jersey 101.5 regarding Grossman's comments, Van Drew said he was "very disappointed" in the remarks.
"Our rich diversity in South Jersey and Across America has formed the bedrock of our great nation's success," Van Drew said. "It's why we're called the land of opportunity, and I'm proud of that. I am very sad to find out that Seth doesn't appreciate the diversity that has made America the greatest country on earth."
Having made the comments months ago, Grossman said he was not surprised that they were coming to light in the video now that he has secured the Republican nomination.
"That's how Democrats win elections," he said. "They take statements out of context, they try to personally destroy their opponents and they avoid any real discussion of real issues that really matter to Americans."
Grossman's closest competitor in the Republican primary was Hirsh Singh, according to Politico.
"This edited video by a democrat SuperPAC has about as much credibility as the dossier Hillary Clinton paid Fusion GPS for," Singh said in an email to New Jersey 101.5. The video does not appear to include any breaks edits during Grossman's comments. "The fact is, that Seth's lifelong respect for people of all backgrounds is unquestioned and includes, by the way, his military service in a predominantly minority National Guard unit.
"Just last week, Jeff Van Drew turned his back on the people who elected him by voting with Phil Murphy on gun control measures that make New Jersey less free and less safe," he continued. "That's a real issue and those are real laws that matter to a lot of people. But all the media want to do is seize on one phrase of a carefully edited, surreptitious video from a campaign event. They take it out of context and attack Seth the same way they attacked the president, the same way they attacked me, and the same way they have attacked countless others. The voters are sick of it; the 2016 election proved that. And the media still haven't gotten the memo."
With just over 10,000 votes Grossman received 39 percent of the votes compared to Singh's 7,906. Van Drew won in a landslide, with 15,654 votes, which was 10,000 more than Tanzie Youngblood, his closest competitor.