News · Press Release

ICYMI: Kean Attempts to Hide His MAGA Agenda from Voters, Press

Kean can hide, but his record doesn’t lie

Tom Kean Jr. has been hiding from reporters and voters his entire career – famously in an elevator.

He’s avoided taking positions or responding to nearly all reporters his entire campaign.

The New York Times noticed, writing a story covering all of his silence and fittingly, Kean Jr. refused to comment.

DCCC Spokesperson James Singer:

“Tom Kean Jr. can hide from reporters and voters, but his record doesn’t lie. He has endorsed the MAGA Republican agenda to strip health care protections from New Jerseyans, criminalize abortion, oppose state and local tax relief, and overturn elections.”

Key excerpts below:

New York Times: A New Jersey Republican’s Political Strategy: Say Less

  • Tom Kean Jr., a New Jersey Republican locked in the state’s most competitive congressional race, has refused to debate his primary opponents. He has avoided talking to most reporters.

  • And he has dodged questions about whether he agrees with the Republican National Committee’s characterization of the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol as “legitimate political discourse.” Mr. Kean, the scion of a storied political family, has adopted what appears to be a core strategy as he tries to avoid alienating moderate swing voters while facing challengers from the right: to keep his mouth, basically, shut. “I’m calling it the vow of silence,” said Micah Rasmussen, director of the Rebovich Institute for New Jersey Politics at Rider University.

  • Julie Roginsky, a Democratic political consultant, said a key question will be whether Mr. Kean’s strategy — however cynical — works. “Did Tom Kean figure out a winning formula in these kinds of swing districts? Which is to say nothing?” she said. “Then use the media’s castigation of you for keeping your mouth shut as a dog whistle to the base?” she added.

  • Mr. Kean’s campaign said he was not available for an interview and said it did not provide his public schedules…..Last weekend, at a large block party that drew candidates for state and federal races, Mr. Rizzo was filmed asking Mr. Kean, “We going to debate or not?” Mr. Kean did not respond, and Mr. Rizzo, 45, posted the video on Twitter.

  • At the same time, Mr. Kean has actively played to the more conservative wing of the G.O.P., a fact the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has tried to exploit in regular email blasts. Mr. Kean stood with Kevin McCarthy, the polarizing Republican minority leader of the U.S. House of Representatives, to announce his candidacy. He traveled to the Mexican border to highlight his opposition to Mr. Biden’s immigration policy, even though it is not an issue that separates him from his primary opponents.

  • He [Kean] remained silent earlier this year as other prominent New Jersey Republicans like former Gov. Christine Todd Whitman and Leonard Lance — who in 2018 lost to Mr. Malinowski — signed a letter calling the Republican National Committee’s stance on the Jan. 6 events “an affront to the rule of law, peaceful self-government and the constitutional order.” The state’s largest news outlet, The Star-Ledger, criticized his decision not to take a position in an editorial that ran under a headline that described Mr. Kean as a “cowering candidate.”


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