DeGroot: I am NOT a RINO

PARSIPPANY – Paul DeGroot wanted to make two points.

He is not a RINO, that dreaded term reserved for Republicans deemed insufficiently conservative.

And … Mikie Sherrill is an extremist.

DeGroot, the Republican candidate in CD-11, forcefully put forth both those arguments in a 20-minute speech Tuesday evening at a wine and cheese party hosted by the Morris County Women’s Republican Club.

After picking up more of Essex County and shedding a few towns in Republican Sussex, the district has become more Democratic voter registration wise.

DeGroot, who won the June primary despite not being endorsed by Morris County Republicans, is undaunted. He’s convinced he has a path to winning, or as Republicans say, reclaiming a seat GOP stalwart Rodney Frelinghuysen held for more than two decades prior to his retirement four years ago.

DeGroot recalled that during the primary, some of his opponents thought he was a RINO or a “squish” – another derogatory term for phony conservatives.

They were wrong, he said.

DeGroot expressed support for a number of genuine, conservative positions, including strong border control, a military second to none, oil independence and cutting “wasteful” federal spending.

“That’s an America Firster, that’s what I am,” he said.

This is, of course, a balancing act – and a difficult one at that. The bottom line is that it’s hard for Republicans to win in New Jersey without residing at least a wee bit in the middle. But go too far to the middle, you risk losing the enthusiasm of your base.

At any rate, DeGroot also expressed views to counter Democratic claims that he’s too much of a right winger.

In contrast to some on the right who reflexively oppose all gun control measures, DeGroot, a one-time assistant prosecutor in Passaic County, said he backs “red flag” laws, which aim to take guns away – at least temporarily – from mentally unsound individuals.

He also wants to expand Medicare to cover hearing, vision and dental needs of seniors.

This is very much in line with Democratic philosophy. DeGroot explained that he considers this a common sense view, noting that seniors deserve respect. Moreover, his idea is to expand Medicare by reducing expenditures elsewhere, not by increasing spending.

The second part of DeGroot’s oratory was about the incumbent.

“She’s the extremist; she’s the one too far left,” he said.

One aspect of DeGroot’s campaign is going to be contrasting his professional background with Sherrill’s.

As a prosecutor, DeGroot said he took “guns off the streets” and responded to homicides in the middle of the night, at times comforting the family of the victim.

He ridiculed Sherrill’s time with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, because she concentrated on criminal justice reform. DeGroot said if he had that job, he would have wanted to go after terrorists and the Russian mob.

This line of attack gets attention, but looking at it objectively, it may prove unproductive. Sherrill’s primary job prior to running for Congress was serving for almost 10 years in the Navy. That’s a bit harder to criticize.

The Republican also accused Sherrill of ducking debates.

“Mikie Sherrill, debate me,” he said. “Stand on that stage with me three times.”

InsiderNJ.com has offered to host a debate between the candidates, as have other outlets. We will see what develops.

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3 responses to “DeGroot: I am NOT a RINO”

  1. Sherrill is the AOC of New Jersey. DeGroot speaking at a friendly Republican wine & Cheese party will do little to sway NJ voters.

    The fact is, no one knows who he is, want he stands for, how he will implement his “platform”, etc. NJ Republicans are weak, fearful of offending, pandering to please everyone, and accomplish little.

    We have rampant crime, liberal judges and prosecutors, a massive influx of illegal aliens, silly liberal LGBTQ actions that are accepted, restrictive gun control laws on law abiding citizens, insane CRT being taught in schools, high taxes, threats from China, Russia, Iran and other radical Muslim groups. The list of problems go on and on.

    Republicans need to get a solid, aggressive, robust message out to the public.

    With little time before elections Sherrll wins easily. The Republican party is dead in NJ. Conservatism is dead. Law and Order is dead. National pride is dead.

    But there is time to speak at wine and cheese parties.

  2. I’d have to agree with you sir, the republican party is dead in NJ.
    But I do have a question for you, where exactly in NJ is Critical Race Theory being taught, outside of college and university courses?

  3. Only crackpot con artists would suggest that Blue Dog Democrat Mikie Sherrill is a left-wing extremist. The only thing that separates Sherrill from the Trump-loving pro-war klansmen who dominate the GOP is her professed support for the freedom of women to make decisions about their bodies instead of acquiescing to puritanical religious zealots who think they know better than the typical American.

    Please say what you want about politics and policy but refrain from lumping establishment Democrats with the progressive voters who want to #ReverseReaganomics and make our economic & political systems work for the people who actually work for a living.

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