After launching a Web site yesterday tying Democratic primary challenger Rob Andrews to the Bush Administration’s Iraq policies, incumbent Sen. Frank Lautenberg’s campaign put out a press release today digging up some votes Andrews cast in the 1990s that they say demonstrate that he was an acolyte of then-Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich.
The release noted Andrews’s yes votes on four bills that were part of the Republicans’ Contract with America in January, 1995, and that he voted for the Contract’s provisions more than any other Democratic member of the New Jersey delegation. In three of the bills highlighted, Andrews was joined by at least one other New Jersey Democrat, although no other state Democrats joined him in voting against a balanced budget amendment.
“Andrews cast 31 votes with the GOP majority and against the Democratic minority on portions of the Contract with America,” read the release. “Among these were votes threatening the health and safety of disadvantaged children and the stability of Medicare and Medicaid.”
The release also referenced a Star-Ledger editorial from March, 1995 that called Andrews a “Newt-Gingrich style Democrat” who was one of only nine Democrats to vote for Ginrich’s welfare overhaul bill, the rest of whom were conservative members of the party from the South and Midwest.
Andrews seems to have gotten more sympathetic to Democratic causes recently, however. During the current Congress, he’s voted with the his party 98% of the time, which ties him for second place for party-line votes among all 13 members of the delegation.
“Frank Lautenberg’s living in the past. This election is about the future. They’re breaking down those votes, and feeding into that is really a shame,” said Andrews Camapign Chairman Michael Murphy. “We would embrace, welcome, celebrate the opportunity for him to make those accusations in a debate on stage with cameras rolling.”