GOP nominee for U.S. Senate Steve Lonegan took a break from bashing Newark Mayor Cory Booker and ObamaCare last night, and gently assaulted the psyches of the young Democratic students of Rider University in attendance at the University’s Rebovich Institute for New Jersey Politics Governing New Jersey presentation.
Lonegan’s personal story of raising a family and building a business in the 1980’s while going blind, was the context he set up to espouse his Libertarian philosophy and policies to the group of about 100 (mostly students) attending the event.
The Federal Reserve Bank’s quantitative easing policy of pumping $85 billion per month into the economy and keeping interest rates at record lows, was the focus of Lonegan’s remarks as he urged students to “play the hand you’re dealt” in life and avoid becoming dependent on government to solve their own, and society’s problems.
Lonegan shared how as a young man, he rejected a life of “being destined to the entitlement state”, of being sustained by disability benefits and food stamps, in order to build a successful life. “Interest rates were 10-12 percent in the 80’s, yet I was able to build a successful business and employ a lot of people, ” the candidate said, “I couldn’t do that with today’s regulations and economic policies.”
Lonegan said cheap student loans have driven up the cost of college educations and urged the students present to not take student loans, in an answer to a student who was not happy that the candidate seemed to be calling for higher interest rates. “I favor interest rates set by the free market,” Lonegan said, “savers and seniors, are being hurt by the $85 billion per month being pumped into the economy. If you manage to save a million dollars and want to invest it safely, you won’t even earn enough interest to pay your rent.”
Lonegan said he considers gun control a women’s issue. “I don’t want my daughters not to be able to defend themselves.”
It was on gun control that he took at shot at Booker. “The only guns Cory Booker got off the streets of Newark are in the holsters of the 200 police officers he laid off.
Regarding ObamaCare, Lonegan addressed the new health care law only in answer to a student asking him to explain his past statement, “I’m sorry you have cancer, but that is not my problem.” The candidate responded, “I’m blind, that is not your problem. You have to play the cards your dealt,” as he went on to advocate free market solutions and competition to make healthcare more affordable.” “Let’s sell insurance across state lines. I would like an insurance policy with a $20,000 deductible. I’ll pay my doctor out of pocket. I only want insurance for catastrophes.”
“We pray for people with problems, as we should. It makes us feel better, but we don’t make their problems are own.”
In his opening remarks Lonegan said he favored decriminalizing marijuana “and maybe even cocaine” so as not to imprison young people and ruin their lives. He backed off the cocaine comment when questioned by MMM after the event. “Its about not putting people in jail and ruining their lives.”
The last question of the evening came from Matt Laurinavicius who announced himself as the President of the Rider University Democrats and gay.
“How can you legally defend my not being equal?” Laurinavicuius challenged Lonegan.
“I support traditional marriage as a Sacrament between a man and a women, but I don’t think the government should be involved in marriage. Why do you need a license to get married?” Lonegan said. “I have nothing against gay people. They should live with liberty and prosperity and be with whoever they want. I have a gay uncle who is an important part of my life.”
“But that leaves me unequal,” Laurinavicuius said before being cut off by moderator Ben Dworkin, the Director of the Rebovich Institute, who clarified that the event was a Q and A, not a debate.
“I believe that gay marriage infringes upon my religious freedom,” Lonegan concluded.
Following the event, Dworkin said of Lonegan, “He’s a fascinating man who does not back down. We’ll find out how many agree with him.”