The CD 9 rival campaigns unleashed a torrent of blows in one another’s direction this afternoon after the Rothman Campaign discovered mailers featuring Bill Pascrell proudly linking himself to President Barack Obama.
Rothman feels proprietary about Obama. He was the only member of the New Jersey Congressional delegation to endorse the Illinoisan in the 2008 Democratic Primary.
But now Pascrell says he’s a fighter – like Obama.
“Congressman Pascrell is no President Obama,” objected Adam Silverstein, campaign spokesman for Rothman.
“If it were up to Congressman Pascrell, President Obama wouldn’t have become President of the United States. Congressman Steve Rothman endorsed Barack Obama in the Presidential Primary. Congressman Pascrell endorsed the other candidate.”
Former President Bill Clinton’s endorsement last week of Pascrell underscored the fact that Pascrell backed Hillary Clinton four years ago, while Rothman stood with the fledgling candidacy of Obama, said the Rothman camp.
“Congressman Rothman is proud to have been the only New Jersey Congressman to have endorsed Barack Obama for President in 2007 and to have served as the Northeast Co-Chairman of the Obama Presidential Campaign,” Silverstein said.
That response to Pascrell’s mailers outraged the Patersonian’s team.
“Steve Rothman has shown throughout this campaign he will say and do anything to have a seat in Congress for two more years,” said Sean Darcy, campaign spokesman for Pascrell. “His claims to being a progressive fighter fly in the face of the facts and his constant negative attacks against Bill Pascrell have been consistently, directly contradicted by independent verifiers at every turn.”
Rothman may have supported Obama for president said Darcy, but in the clinches he weakened.
“When he had a chance to support President Obama by taking on one of the most right wing members of Congress he fled and decided to primary a Democrat instead,” said the campaign spokesman. “That is not progressive, nor is it supporting our President and his agenda. These desperate, negative attacks can only mean that Steve Rothman has begun to recognize the momentum is with our campaign and people are behind Bill Pascrell because he is the only fighter for middle class taxpayers against conservative Tea Party Republicans in this race.”
He tried to lump Pascrell in with Clinton and Obama as he concluded, “Bill Clinton said it best when he endorsed last week, Bill Pascrell is the fighter we need to support President Obama.”