Bramnick Dives into ‘The Middle’ of the Fray

NEW BRUNSWICK – Jon Bramnick looked over a crowd of more than 200 Republicans at the Stress Factory Comedy Club Saturday afternoon and said:

“I am a pro-choice Republican,” adding that he’s not changing his views.

A few minutes earlier, Bramnick said that if Republicans want to retain their status as a “law and order” party, they can not support the thugs who invaded the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, or ridicule the many judges who dismissed multiple legal challenges to the 2020 election.

He said those who continue to hold those views must be called out.

“Even if it’s Donald Trump …. even if it’s Donald Trump.”

No one jeered. There were no boos and no one ran out of the room in horror at Bramnick’s audacity.

There were actually cheers from a crowd that included a number of GOP statewide elected officials.

This was the launch of Bramnick’s 2025 campaign for governor and his comments are probably still reverberating across the Republican landscape

Many Republicans privately condemn Trump, but here was Bramnick doing it loudly – and proudly.

As he said, hateful rhetoric and calling Joe Biden and Phil Murphy names is not going to win Republicans elections in New Jersey.

He added that what you need is a candidate who understands the requirement to work with and compromise with the other side.

Arithmetic is a big part of politics and here is Bramnick’s math.

“As we know, 80 percent of the people are in the middle,” he said. They are not extremists.

That can be true, but Bramnick needs to win a Republican primary where 80 percent of the voters are not in the political middle. The Trump base may not be 80 percent of the Republican electorate, but it’s certainly substantial.

Jack Ciattarelli is already in the race and you know there will likely be a dedicated MAGA candidate as well. Maybe more than one. The gubernatorial primary is about 16-plus months away, so there is plenty of time for political jockeying.

Bramnick’s obvious hope is that primary voters support someone who actually can win a general election.

“We’ve been losing election after election after election,” he said.

That’s not a bad point.

Many loyal Republicans today were not even alive the last time the GOP won a U.S. Senate election. The state’s congressional delegation used to be evenly split – more or less. Now it’s 9-3 in favor of the Democrats – even with Jeff Van Drew’s party switch a few years ago.

Then there was last year’s legislative election where Republicans lost six Assembly seats. And the Senate where Ed Durr, a right wing folk hero of sorts, lost reelection.

In contrast, Bramnick said he continues to win Legislative seats in the 21st District where there are more registered Dems than Republicans.

The majority of voters in New Jersey are pro-choice and are not Trump fans, so what’s wrong with the Republican candidate for governor supporting those positions?

One problem is that the party – thanks to Trump’s influence – has moved far to the right. Bramnick in historical terms may be a Rockefeller Republican. That is, a man with conservative fiscal, but moderate, social views. But in today’s GOP world, many will dismiss him as a RINO. That’s happening already.

Still, it would be wrong to overlook Bramnick’s criticism of the Dems now running the state.

He said the majority party has moved far outside the mainstream by handcuffing law enforcement, opposing school choice and pushing offshore wind projects that are unpopular and perhaps dangerous to marine life.

“To bring back balance we have to elect a responsible governor – that’s me,” Bramnick said.


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6 responses to “Bramnick Dives into ‘The Middle’ of the Fray”

  1. The writer labels many Republicans as dedicated MAGA loyalists yet never are the ultra liberal democrats labeled as such. Why is this?

    Perhaps InsiderNJ is simply trying to sway voters towards democrats or liberal Republicans?

    It probably doesn’t matter as the Republican party is dead in NJ. A gathering at a comedy club is quite appropriate. Bramnick is just pandering for votes.

    As for conservatives, while many do not like Trump’s personality, his policies were pro-America and the country was wealthier, safer, energy independent and stronger.

    Trump aside, what is wrong with Making America Great?
    What is wrong with a strong military? What is wrong with strong police policy? What is wrong with harsh prison sentences for violent criminals? What is wrong with energy independence? What is wrong with a secure and well guarded border?

  2. Congressman Jeff Van Drew is the chairman of the New Jersey Trump 2024, and what is he going to do about Trump hating Bramnick? No boos? What do you expect from a room full of Establishment RINOS! No President has done more for Israel and Bramnick, a Jew, DISPISES President Trump! His speech could have been given by any New Jersey Democrat running for office! THAT speaks volumes about this phony RINO Republican candidate!

  3. I think Bramnick is way too moderate on policy for my taste BUT he is dead on with the rhetorical argument. Tension in American politics is too high. The vitriol is really hurting people at home, at work and among friends. I have spent most of my adult life living in an America where having a friend who is of a different political persuasion is a rarity and when such friendships do exist, those people have to walk on eggshells to maintain it. It is even getting that way within the two parties. If you are a conservative, you cant be friends with a moderate or you are a RINO. Same is true for progressives. We gotta bring the tension down.

  4. Tell Bramnick to bring the tension down! He’s s hypocrite! Bramnick has continually referred to us patriotic Republican MAGA Trump supporters as “crazies!” I might not agree with mushy Republican moderates, but I don’t use repugnant words when referring to them. Also, Bramniuck regularly refers to Trump in a vile repugnant way! He needs to follow his own misplaced rhetoric!

  5. Perhaps Senator Bramnick should support the Police in Toms River, he recently swore in a new Maga Mayor who is defunding the Police department. The force has not increased in size in over 20 years while the population and call volume have increased exponentially

  6. Bramnick is too much of a Republican RINO milquetoast. He’s a fake, phoney and fraud. And, he’s a lawyer. But I repeat myself. That’s the problem. The lawyer-politician wants to go along to get along, and New Jerseyans are getting screwed by this so-called Republican in the process. Either Bramnick stands with Conservatives and real Republicans, or he should divest himself of Republican funding and donations and become a Democrat.

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