Too bigoted for Republicans? NJ candidate won’t drop out
ATLANTIC CITY — The embattled Republican candidate in the congressional race for New Jersey's second district said he has no intention of dropping out despite the controversy surrounding some of his comments and social media posts.
Seth Grossman said he stands by the posts, which have been described as offensive towards Muslims, gays and back people. He also answered a question at a debate before the Republican primary where he said diversity was "crap" and "un-American." He is running against Democratic state Sen. Jeff Van Drew to replace retiring Republican U.S. Rep. Frank LoBiondo.
Grossman said in a statement about the decision by the National Republican Campaign Committee to drop his support that he's "been an outspoken opponent of racism and anti-Semitism for decades."
"These silly attacks are simply bizarre to both friend and foe who have known me for decades here in Atlantic County," he said in a statement. With four months to go before the election, Grossman told New Jersey 101.5 that he is more intent than ever to win in November so that he can support President Donald Trump's agenda in Washington.
"This is exactly why I'm running for Congress. The reason I went into the primary without the support of any Republican organization in South Jersey was because I felt that the normal establishment Republicans were just not prepared to deal with these vicious and fake attacks by the National Democrat media," he said. "I'm just disappointed that the national Republicans are taking the easy way out and going along, they're letting the Democrat radical media determine their campaign strategy, which is to me, ridiculous."
He also doesn't believe that the lack of support from the national organization will affect his ability to raise money, and could even help him with a certain portion of the Republican Party.
"I think a lot of Republicans around America are just fed up with the failure of certain Republican leaders to rally behind President Trump and the 'MAGA,' Make America Great Again agenda."
In announcing its withdrawal of support for Grossman, committee chairman Steve Stivers said "Bigotry has no place in society - let alone the U.S. House of Representatives." He also urged Grossman to "reconsider his candidacy."
Atlantic County Democratic Chairman Michael Suleiman called for his Republican counterparts at the county level to also pull support for Grossman's candidacy.
"The NRCC finally did the right thing and pulled their support for Seth Grossman, but yet we've heard radio silence from Frank Formica and the rest of the Republican freeholder board," he said in a statement. "You can't have your cake and eat it, too. If the Republicans are too afraid to alienate their far-right base by denouncing Mr. Grossman, then I suggest they find another industry to work in."
A phone call to the Atlantic County Republican Committee was not returned as of Tuesday afternoon.
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report