Malinowski and Kean Lock Horns at Virtual Forum

Malinowski, right, and Kean.

So what is it about your opponent’s campaign that really bugs you?

That interesting query was posed to Tom Malinowski and Tom Kean Jr. during a Wednesday night virtual forum at the United Jewish Federation of Metrowest. The CD-7 candidates appeared separately.

This was the proverbial hanging curve ball for Malinowski.

He swung hard and criticized an advertisement on Kean’s behalf by the National Republican Congressional Committee that links the incumbent congressman to protecting pedophiles. Many national fact checkers have denounced the ad as false, but Malinowski says Kean “continues to promote it.”

This is certainly a competitive district and Malinowski hopes voters are paying attention.

“This kind of politics needs to lose in New Jersey,” Malinowski said,

Kean’s response to the same question was a bit muted. He said he found some of Malinowski’s ads shocking, but wasn’t specific. He then reiterated his goals of lowering drug prices and working to bring about a strong economy.

In an admirable foray into foreign affairs, the candidates were also asked about the United States pulling out of the Iran nuclear agreement.

Malinowski said the deal was not perfect, but that it was the “right and only framework” to stop Iran’s nuclear program.  He said the result of the Trump administration’s pull out is that Iran substantially has increased its supply of enriched uranium.

At the same time, Malinowski faulted the agreement for not doing enough to curb Iran’s support for Hamas and other alleged terrorist organizations.

Kean said it was a bad deal from the get-go, noting that it “empowered Iran,” thereby posing a threat to Israel.

Health care was another topic.

Malinowski strongly supports the Affordable Care Act, which Democrats think may be in peril with a looming change on the U.S. Supreme Court.

This can be a risky issue for Republicans, given the fact that President Trump has talked for years about eliminating “Obamacare.”

Kean stressed that he supports what probably are the two most popular parts of the ACA – no insurance coverage discrimination for those with preexisting conditions and kids on their parents’ policies until age 26.

The difficult thing would be maintaining those provisions if the ACA vanishes.

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