Ninth District Rep. Steve Rothman said today that the Barack Obama presidential campaign has not decided who will head up Obama’s efforts in New Jersey.
Rothman, an early Obama supporter who has been the candidate’s point man in New Jersey, wouldn’t say whether Obama would bring in someone new or whether the charge of running a coordinated state campaign would fall to former Clinton backers like Gov. Jon Corzine and Democratic State Chairman Joe Cryan.
“We’ve had wonderful discussions with the Clinton people in New Jersey and all the leaders, including the Governor and our state director who supported Sen. Clinton and all of the Obama leaders,” said Rothman. “We’re united and we’re working with the Obama campaign in putting together the right team for our state."
Rothman said that he met with Obama National Campaign Manager David Plouffe to discuss the situation yesterday.
Rothman also said that Obama has not consulted him on his pick for vice president.
The comments came during a conference call with reporters as presumptive Republican nominee John McCain campaigned in Burlington County on his third public campaign visit to New Jersey. McCain is opening a campaign headquarters in the state, and his backers say he intends to put New Jersey in play this year.
“Senator Obama is going to win New Jersey handily, and if Sen. McCain wants to pour resources into New Jersey, the more the merrier. He’s going to lose by very large margins here in November,” said Rothman.
Rothman initiated the call to call McCain “out of touch” with New Jersey voters because of his support for a gas tax holiday, which Rothman said would strip New Jersey of $190 million in federal funding for local road and bridge projects while barely helping drivers, if at all.