Booker and Lonegan Clash In First Debate

By Phil Gregory, WBGO News
Trenton. October 4, 2013

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Booker and Lonegan at debate
Cory Booker and Steve Lonegan at their debate in Trenton (photo by Phil Gregory)

The candidates in the special election for a U.S. Senate seat from New Jersey traded barbs in their first debate, which was hosted by TV stations WPVI and WABC.

During the one-hour faceoff, Democrat Cory Booker and Republican Steve Lonegan accused each other of having extremist views. 

Booker portrayed Lonegan as being part of a tea party fringe that’s hijacking the government to get what they want while opposing Obamacare.

“This person does not believe in any kind of government health care whatsoever. If you’re a senior and you’re getting Medicaid, Medicare, he doesn’t believe it in.”

Lonegan says Booker is a far-left liberal and claimed unemployment increased while Booker spent a lot of time out of state earning money on speaking tours.

 “The only example of economic growth I can find in Newark is the growth of Cory Booker’s bank account.”

Lonegan was critical of Booker’s record as Newark Mayor.

“What New Jersey needs sir is a leader not a tweeter. We need somebody who is going to be there, to governor who is going to be there to do the job, not be running around the country on speaking tours and getting speaking fees and running around California and Hollywood with a bunch of Hollywood elite.”

Booker says Lonegan is misrepresenting his record.

“I have traveled around the country but when I do I actually bring back resources for Newark, New Jersey, bringing new developers to our city that are building our first new hotels in 40 year, building our first new office towers, putting hundreds of millions of dollars in our school.”

The candidates disagreed on a variety of issues including gun control, taxation, and education.

 Booker supports using federal funds for school vouchers.

“It could be of limited fashion for kids in very tough situations in failing schools that have not other options.”

Lonegan does not want federal money to be used for school vouchers.

 “I don’t support using federal funds for education period. I would do away with the Department of Education, I would return control of education to the state, local, and town level.”


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