Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Garrett Assails Grandma Ad

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Garrett Assails Grandma Ad

Article excerpt

WOODLAND PARK -- The race for New Jersey's 5th District -- one of the most closely watched House contests in the nation -- has become a "vitriolic, low, nasty campaign," Rep. Scott Garrett told The Record's editorial board on Wednesday.

As Exhibit A, Garrett played an ad recently released by his opponent, Democrat Josh Gottheimer. The ad shows a grandmother on a bench, newspaper in hand. As the woman lists parts of the congressman's record, she punctuates her speech with bleeped-out expletives.

"To me, it's just emblematic of the race that I've been in for a year and a half," Garrett said.

A spokesman for Gottheimer on Wednesday accused Garrett of hypocrisy, saying the congressman has been running a misleading attack ad. He also said that "while Scott Garrett may not want to admit it," there was truth to what was being said about his record.

Garrett, a Republican from Wantage, has represented New Jersey's 5th District since 2003. He is facing what is thought to be his most formidable challenge ever this year, in part because of a report last year in which he said he would not give money to a Republican campaign fund that had supported gay candidates.

Garrett called the report a fabrication. He said he would support anyone who endorsed the Republican platform, which opposes same-sex marriage.

He, nonetheless, lost donors while Gottheimer, a former Bill Clinton speechwriter from Wyckoff, has done well raising funds. Gottheimer also has benefited from more than $4 million in spending by outside groups.

Range of topics

Over the course of more than one hour Wednesday, Garrett spoke on topics ranging from Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump to tax reform. At times testy and combative, he seemed to relax when the conversation turned to policy issues.

Gottheimer has said he would work across party lines if elected. …

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