The first Republican elected official in New Jersey to endorse Donald Trump this afternoon slapped away at Steve Lonegan, a Ted Cruz for president backer who continues to oppose Trump.
“Steve Lonegan is becoming the Howard Cosell of politics,” said Doherty, in reference to his one-time ally. “Many people felt Howard Cosell should cap his career off as a grandfatherly figure but instead he became a bitter and cantankerous negative force. It was regrettable, and now it seems that Steve Lonegan is going the same way.”
Doherty counts himself a proud Trump backer and likes the match-up of his candidate with presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. Lonegan gripes that Trump is not a conservative, but Doherty disagrees.
“I’m a conservative,” he said. “I am considered by many to be the most conservative member of the legislature. I’m a military veteran. Absolutely Donald Trump is conservative. Steve Lonegan got hired by an anonymous PAC donor and it’s unfortunate, but this is what he does now. Donald Trump was against NAFTA. Hillary was there when it became law. Donald Trump is against war in the middle east. Hillary Clinton [voted in favor of the Iraq War resolution]. Donald Trump wants to secure borders. Hillary Clinton thinks things are great.
“I don’t know what Steve’s talking about,” Doherty added. “I think he’s been paid by a PAC that hired him to say these things. This is someone who led Ted Cruz’s slate here in New Jersey and they lost. The Donald Trump slate won, and that’s the slate that’s going to to the convention and Donald Trump’s going to be the nominee. What Steve is saying is absurd, but this is what happens when people get hired. He’s doing his job, and it’s a shame. Toward the end of the primary, 80% of all voters were supporting Trump or Cruz, and now the Cruz people can’t get on board. Maybe at the end of the day Cruz was a Big bush stalking horse. The Bushes are an unforgiving people, and it’s clear they’re not going to forgive Donald Trump for making Jeb look like a chump.”
Lonegan shot back.
“Mike Doherty’s wrong on two fronts,” he said. “I’m not being by anyone and Donald Trump is no conservative. Courageous Conservatives is a PAC that wants to ensure that Donald Trump is not the nominee but I’m not paid by them. I’m a volunteer, and there’s a huge difference. I’m disappointed in Mike Doherty. The guy [Trump] is no conservative.”