In a remarkable interview with NJ.com, 6th district congressional challenger gives insight into her transformation from a rising GOP star to a fringe candidate.
“I had been a mainstream Republican candidate, but unfortunately I was not allowed to be myself. I am a traditional lady – I am pro-life, I am Catholic, and I am proud of it,” Little said. “Any political party, if it’s top-down driven, they want you to fit their mold. I don’t fit anybody’s mold. With the Tea Party people, I can be me. And I just want to do the right thing.”
The obvious implication is that those who didn’t “allow” her to be herself don’t want to do the right thing. That’s her ethos. On the wall next to her desk in her campaign office is her slogan,
“NEW JERSEY & POLITICAL CORRUPTION: PERFECT TOGETHER.”
Little was a mainstream candidate. A good one at that. In early 2006 the Monmouth GOP County Committee, suffering from the aftershocks of Operation Bid Rig, tabbed the little know Highlands Councilwoman and her “do the right thing” message to complete Amy Handlin’s seat on the Monmouth County Board of Freeholders when Handlin was sworn into the State Assembly.
During her fall campaign to defend the seat, then GOP County Chairman Adam Puharic, a proud pro-life Catholic, called Little “a Rock Star.” Against an anti-war, anti-Bid Rig tide, Little was a rare Republican victor on election night of 2006. Within weeks the proud pro-life Catholic Puharic was plotting to get Little off the Republican ticket the following November.
Puharic and the Monmouth GOP did send Little packing from the Freeholder Board one year after she emerged like a Rock Star. The Highlands GOP welcomed her home an nominated her for mayor after the incumbent unexpectedly resigned his candidacy. The Highlands voters welcomed her home with a victory. Three years later, rather than run for reelection Little ran for Congress. She narrowly won the Monmouth County portion of the 6th district in a huge pro-Republican tide election. But she lost Highlands. Republicans swept every ballot position in Highlands in 2010, except the top one…Little’s. Highlands voted for Frank Pallone in 2010 rather than their incumbent mayor.
If you don’t support Anna Little unconditionally and give her what she wants when she wants it, you’re either corrupt or stupid. That’s her message. Her lack of mainstream support has nothing to do with her being pro-life, Catholic or a traditional lady. There are many pro-life, Catholic, traditional ladies thriving politically in the mainstream NJ/Monmouth GOP.
The list of former Little supporters who have mysteriously become corrupt or stupid is long and growing. It is not an accident that those who know her best, the voters of Highlands and the Monmouth GOP who nominated an unknown political neophyte instead of Little in the congressional primary, have withdrawn their support.
And it’s not because they are corrupt or stupid.
It is, in large part, because she says they are corrupt and stupid when they dare to question her.