NJ swing-district congressman hits back at bipartisan attacks
MARLTON — Rep. Tom MacArthur said he is "punching back" at ads by political groups he said are misrepresenting his stance on the proposed Republican healthcare plan.
The 3rd Congressional District Republican addressed the ads at a news conference at his Marlton office on Tuesday, saying they are coming from "well-funded and highly-organized special interests."
"To be clear, I don't mind people coming after me because they disagree with me on a particular issue or in general. What I don't like is when they play loose and fast (with facts)," MacArthur told New Jersey 101.5.
"I’ve been getting attacked from outside group from both sides of political spectrum. One ad is even falsely claiming that I support legislation that would not cover pre-existing conditions—this is simply not true. I have never and will never support legislation that does this," MacArthur said in a statement calling out the actions of liberal New Jersey Citizen Action, the conservative Club for Growth and Save My Care.
MacArthur said NJ Citizen Action has paid organizers from outside the district to picket outside his Marlton and Toms River offices while Club For Growth has spent a half-million on television and online ads.
He also produced an email in which NJ Citizen Action recruits people from outside the district to protest a planned MacArthur event on Monday in Medford Lakes.
New Jersey Citizen Action on their Facebook page denied MacArthur's allegation.
"Thousands of you have been out at vigils since January fighting tooth and nail to save our health care. Did you all forget to bill us?" the group wrote. Several people with the group outside MacArthur's event also commented that they were not paid.
"Get over it, buddy. We are fighting to save health care and all of the other programs the heartless GOP is working to take away. You should have your benefits threatened and see how fast you would speak up."
The Club for Growth has ads asking voters to call MacArthur to "reject Ryancare."
According to MacArthur, he is being targeted because the 3rd Congressional District is one of the few "swing districts" left in the country. The district spans much of Ocean and Burlington counties.
"I'm in a district that Barack Obama won handily in both 2008 and 2012 and now Donald Trump won in 2016. I've got people here that might be friends, they might be neighbors, they're good decent people but they see things potentially through a very different lens from each other," MacArthur told New Jersey 101.5.
MacArthur said as president of the group of moderate Republicans called the Tuesday Group, he finds himself in the middle of a lot of discussions about health care and proposed amendments to the plan. "That puts a target on your back," MacArthur said.
MacArthur, who hesitated about holding live town hall sessions after he said constituents were left out because special interest groups hijacked the meetings, said he will hold another one in Burlington County. No date has been set.
"This is no way to fix problems—we need to work together and compromise in order to achieve real change. It’s time for all of us to respectfully discuss the differences we have so we can find solutions, instead of pointing fingers," MacArthur said.
Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com.
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