US Senate Challengers Speak To Ocean County Tea Party
With less than a week until voters choose who will go against Democrat Bob Menendez in the race for US Senate, three GOP contenders are trying to woo the vote from the Ocean County Tea Party.
New Jersey Senator Joe Kyrillos, Toms River entrepreneur Joseph Rullo, and educator and businessman Bader Qarmout all presented themselves and answered questions during a forum held in Manahawkin at the Mill Creek Recreation Center Tuesday evening.
With time running low until the nominations will be up for a ballot, all of the candidates are vying for support from the Ocean County Tea Party which remains prominent throughout the county.
Kyrillos, who stayed for roughly forty five minutes, introduced himself and took questions regarding his position on everything from illegal immigration, balancing the budget, and fair tax.
The 13th District Senator from Monmouth County is regarded as the one with most support from mainstream GOP figures, having garnered approval from Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, and several counties throughout the state including Ocean County.
When questioned about issues like flat tax, measures to balance the budget, and support of fellow Tea Party candidates, Kyrillos took a more neutral position. Saying he isn’t ready to support any kind of specific tax reform due to a lack of information (though supports a simplification, as well as claiming willingness to work with either political party to accomplish his goals.
“If you find honest people, they can come from [anywhere on] the ideological spectrum, we’re going to have to find a way to fix the finances of this country.”
“Now is not the time to raise taxes on anybody, we have a fragile economy.”
“I’m not in a position to say I would co sponsor legislation or even support it I don’t know enough about it. I need to learn more. I welcome the continuing dialogue.”
“I’ll work with whoever is there, whether they are republican or democrat.”
Bader Qarmout demonstrated a more assertive position on many of his platforms. The real estate investor and Morris County Community College professor responded in his introduction a different approach to bi partisanship.
“Ladies and gentlemen the only time I’ll be reaching across the aisle is to grab someone by the tie and drag them over.”
Qarmout also addressed the hot button issue of immigration, stating flat out that he is opposed to any kind of amnesty. The Jordanian immigrant instead favors a system in which immigrants who are in the country illegally would face large fines. He also supports more resources go to securing the border, noting that it “is worse than Swiss cheese.”
He presented six points for job creation. The six points include: Repealing of the Affordable Healthcare Act (aka Obamacare), lowering taxes to 15% including a simplification of the tax code, reduce over regulation by government through cutting of government departments like the EPA, lowering energy costs by tapping into domestic energy sources, boost education by supporting school vouchers and fair school funding, and instituting a balanced budget.
“If I’m blessed enough to be your next senator, I will do everything in my power to protect American sovereignty, I will uphold the constitution, secure the borders, and I will not secure our rights to the United Nations.”
Solar entrepreneur Joseph Rullo capped off the presentation and Q&A portion, delivering an impassioned covering his positions on immigration, veteran benefits, term limits, and career politicians.
“It’s not just the Republicans and the Democrats it’s these special lobbying groups, and all the filth and corruption and devil that’s within Washington and I’m tired of it.”
He specifically called out the Internal Revenue Service over allegations of unjust investigation of Tea Party Chapters.
“First of all this same exact IRS is the same IRS that Obama is going to hire tons more of these people to enforce Obama and Menendez Care.” Adding that if elected he will conduct more investigation’s into any supposed unfair targeting of Tea Party Groups.