(Basking Ridge, NJ) At Tom Kean Jr.’s first public appearance of this year’s 7th District Congressional campaign, we learned why his handlers don’t want him to do public appearances. His incoherence and inability to answer direct questions left the audience utterly confused as to what he actually believes.
To watch Tom Kean Jr. and Tom Malinowski’s appearances at the Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest Congressional Candidate Forum, click here.
Kean Jr. attempted to call himself pro-choice, even after being called out by the moderators for claiming on a hidden website that he is “a fierce defender of the sanctity of life, fighting every step of the way to protect the unborn from egregious abortion laws proposed in New Jersey.” When asked to clarify his position on reproductive rights, Kean Jr. said:.
“I support a woman’s right to choose. I have a twenty year career in the State Senate to support that. Like most New Jerseyans, I support reasonable restrictions, those include life and physical health in the event of the mother and the baby, rape, and incest, for example.”
Kean Jr. must have forgotten on his last day in the State Senate he voted against codifying Roe v. Wade in New Jersey, and that he voted to defund Planned Parenthood for nearly a decade. Watch his answer, hear the audience challenge him on the accuracy of his position, and see if you can figure out what on earth he is talking about.
When Kean Jr. was asked about, January 6th he first asserted, “People who violated the law should be prosecuted to the fullest extent. My position has not changed since that day.” But then he appeared to side with MAGA election deniers, stating, “But again, how do we ensure people have faith in the integrity of the elections? There were many different times when people expressed concerns regarding the history of the election results, or anything else. We need to ensure that we find that common ground.”
Kean Jr. did not attempt to explain what is the “common ground” between those who respect the lawfully certified results of the 2020 election and those who used violence and lies to keep a defeated president in power.
Without saying why, he went on to suggest that he opposes the work of the bipartisan January 6th Committee, asserting, “I told you that I would have voted for the original bipartisan January 6th Committee.”
Kean Jr.’s was also asked his position on a federal assault rifle ban. Here is his non-answer:
“We all want to have our communities kept safe. And we need to make sure those individuals who shouldn’t have weapons, shouldn’t have them. Whether it’s mental health, or red flag laws, or many others. We’ve got to have the right solutions. I know we experienced it on the state level and I would support that at the federal level.”
Following this answer, audible “huh’s?” and “What would you support?” are heard throughout the crowd.
New Jerseyans know that time and again, Tom Kean Jr. voted in-line with his friends at the NRA, against reducing the maximum capacity of ammunition rounds, against restrictions on who can carry a handgun, against mandated background checks for private sales, and more. We also didn’t hear a word from Kean after any of the tragic mass shootings earlier this year.
Last night’s most aggressive dodge came when Kean Jr., whose campaign ads accuse Representative Malinowski of causing inflation, refused to answer what, exactly, he would do to bring down inflation. Here is that exchange:
“What would you do, specifically, to bring down inflation other than not spend federal funds?”
“I blocked billions of dollars in spending that otherwise would have impacted everybody in this room, everybody across NJ. So you have to find the right way to naturally produce the spending. My counterpart voted for legislation for golf courses and ski slopes and that’s irresponsible. Bipartisan economists said if you voted in this way, followed Nancy Pelosi 100% of the time, that this very circumstance that we found ourselves could potentially happen. And he ignored our advice. He only listened to Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden because he wanted to vote for their outcome. So what we need to do to stop inflation is to cut the spending in responsible ways, as I have done in the state legislature.”
Tom Kean Jr. doesn’t seem to have a platform or a solution to anything, even on the economy – the one issue he beats the drum on. The only economic position he has recently taken was to oppose the Inflation Reduction Act, which lowers prescription drug and health insurance costs, diminishes America’s dependence on foreign oil, and reduces the federal deficit by $300 billion, and which 126 leading economists from across the political spectrum have said will also lower overall inflation. Tom Kean Jr. has proposed no alternative policies, and offered none last night.