Republican New Jersey Senate candidate Steve Lonegan called federal relief to victims of Hurricane Sandy, the superstorm that devastated the Jersey Shore last October and left thousands of people homeless, "over the top."
"I disagreed with Governor Christie and President Obama on Hurricane Sandy funding," he told MSNBC's Steve Kornacki Saturday. "I thought it was just too much money." Lonegan said he was concerned that there weren't enough safeguards to ensure money went to homeowners instead of government programs, saying "There's all kinds of pork barrel spending in that bill."
Lonegan, the former mayor of Botoga, New Jersey, also said he would support shutting down the government in order to eliminate funding for the Affordable Care Act.
"Yes. In fact, I think it's time to draw a line in the sand on the spending problem that's taking place in this country, this explosion of debt reliance on government," he said.
As the candidate was grilled by Kornacki and the other Up panelists, Lonegan made the following other points:
- He would support the Manchin-Toomey compromise in the Senate for universal background checks for gun purchases.
- He would note vote to confirm any U.S. Supreme Court justice who would vote to uphold Roe v. Wade, calling himself "totally pro-life."
- He supported the idea of protecting LGBT people in their jobs, but said he hasn't read the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, the proposed legislation that would prohibit employment discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
- He said Ted Cruz is the Senator he would most like to emulate, calling the Texas Republican "particularly intellectual."
- As an internal debate rages within the Republican party over recent revelations about the NSA and privacy issues, Lonegan called himself "more on the side of Rand Paul" and "very concerned with individual liberty."
Lonegan faces off against Democrat Cory Booker in the special election on October 16th to fill the vacancy of the late Democrat Frank Lautenberg.
You can watch his entire interview in the video player above.