Running against U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone (D-Long Branch), Republican newspaper publisher Diane Gooch kicked off her campaign tonight at the Molly Pitcher Inn in Bed Bank in front of a crowd of 200 people.
“I am not for government healthcare,” Gooch told PolitickerNJ.com in a telephone interview. “I’m not for more spending. I’m worried about taxes.”
Gooch said she doesn’t believe in government creating jobs. She wants tax cuts as a jobs stimulus.
She says does not favor reviving the so-called millionaire’s tax, a debate now electrifying Trenton in the new era of Gov. Chris Christie.
“No new taxes,” said Gooch.
A John McCain supporter in the 2008 presidential election, the GOP challenger said President Barack Obama is flailing early in part because he espouses a dysfunctional political philosophy.
“Where do I start?” she said when asked where she believes the president went astray. “A nice guy, charismatic, but not experienced enough for the job. Too much of a socialist.”
A 15-year Rumson resident who grew up in Long Island, Gooch chafed at the billionaire brand the Monmouth County Democratic Party attempted to sink her with on day one in a press release statement from spokesman Michael Mangan.
“The Rumson billionaire Diane Gooch now wants to entertain herself with politics,” Mangan said. “She took her and her husband’s profits from Wall Street to buy a mansion, to buy a yacht, to buy a newspaper, and now she wants to buy a seat in Congress. No matter how much money she has or spends, she won’t be able to buy a true understanding of the concerns of working people. Family bills, health care costs, housing expenses and job security are everyday concerns for most of us during these difficult economic times, but these are issues so distant to her circumstances she wouldn’t be able to recognize them with a yachtsman’s telescope.”
Gooch fired back.
“That’s absolutely ridiculous,” she said. “I understand what’s going on. I’m not buying a congressional seat. I don’t owe the pharmaceutical company money like Frank Pallone. I’m running because I love my country. If that’s what they’re going on, they’re not looking too deep.”
Running in a primary against Highlands Mayor Anna Little and several other candidates, Gooch has the backing of the Monmouth County political establishment, including senators Joe Kyrillos, Sean Kean, and Jennifer Beck; and presumptive Middlesex County GOP Chairman Sam Thompson.
Long an upstart, Little agrees with Gooch that Obama’s policies are socialist, but said it’s an oversimplification to say she’s running to the right of the Rumson rez.
“I haven’t heard her speak,” said Little. “I have eight or nine years of experience as an elected official. I have the endorsements of a number of grassroots organizations in Monmouth and Middlesex. I can identify with the people I wish to represent. Our elected officials have lost focus. The focus needs to be getting back to the working middle class.”
Pallone said he was proud of his record.
“From my years serving at the local level through my time in Washington, my priorities have been jobs, the economy, the environment, health care and the needs of seniors. I want to continue to fight for these priorities and I look forward to a healthy debate on the issues with Diane Gooch, if she becomes the Republican nominee,” said Pallone.