Much of the conversation around the U.S. Senate race in New Jersey has focused on the matchup between incumbent Democrat Bob Menendez and GOP challenger Bob Hugin.
But there is a third candidate in the race — Libertarian Murray Sabrin, a Ramapo College finance professor who has has run for U.S. Senate three times before as a Republican. In 1997, he was the Libertarian Party’s nominee for governor, and the first third-party candidate to raise enough money to appear in televised debates with two major-party candidates, Republican Christie Whitman and Democrat Jim McGreevey.
Sabrin sat down with “NewsWorks Tonight” host Dave Heller to talk about his campaign, his positions, and whether his presence in the race could split votes for Hugin and Menendez. To listen to the full conversation, click the play button above.
On what the Libertarian Party stands for:
“I think the Libertarian philosophy, which is the non-agression principle, is the foundation of American society and culture and political system. The Constitution clearly states that the government — the federal government — has a very limited role in our society. Clearly, the Democrats and Republicans have deviated from their oath to uphold the Constitution — that’s why we have a $4 trillion budget with a $1 trillion deficit and a $1 trillion national debt.”
On what he thinks makes for a good society:
“Republicans and Democrats, they think the job of government is to make people virtuous through various laws and regulations. Libertarians believe virtue comes from the inner soul — the inner belief that people have. And that comes through culture, through family, through cultural institutions, religious institutions, and so on and so forth. We don’t believe in top-down economics, that if the government spends tons of money from Washington, and that trickles down to the rest of us, we’re gonna have a better society. That’s not true.”
On how social services should be provided:
“One of my proposals is what’s called the universal tax credit, where people would get a 100 percent tax credit for every dollar they donate to a nonprofit that’s going to help people at the local level — food banks, training services, Habitat for Humanity, just name it. So, if we start instituting that program, we could phase out all these big government programs. I think the best way to handle such issues is at the local level — with institutions, organizations. We have a huge social service sector. The question is: What’s the best way to deliver those services? And from my reading of history and understanding management, the nonprofit sector is the most effective, the most efficient, way of dealing with these issues, and not the federal government.”
On whether his candidacy would split the conservative vote and help Menendez:
“Not at all. Bob Menendez is one of the biggest pro-war members of Congress. We’re going to earn our votes across the political spectrum. Lisa McCormick, who ran against Menendez in the primary, issued a press release, saying, ‘Wouldn’t it be great to have somebody of Murray Sabrin’s integrity in the United States Senate?’ That’s about as close to an endorsement as you’ll get from a Democrat, who, by the way, is 180 degrees opposite me on every economic issue.”