A Republican congressman from New Jersey is finally responding to a July 2015 report that alleged he was withholding donations to the House campaign arm because he thought it actively recruited and supported gay candidates.
Rep. Scott Garrett (R-NJ) told The Record newspaper Wednesday that he thinks seeking political office is “everyone’s right,” but he also said he would only support candidates who advocated “traditional marriage.”
The original Politico report, which cited multiple anonymous sources, said Garrett withheld paying dues to the National Republican Congressional Committee because it supported gay primary candidates. Garrett’s office did not respond to the report at the time.
In his interview with The Record, Garrett said that report was a “fabrication.”
Referencing a past interview, Garrett also told the newspaper that he would only back candidates who support the platform of “fiscal responsibility” and “traditional marriage.”
“I said I support everyone’s right to run for public office,” he told the newspaper from his Washington office. “I said at that time I will support those people who support the Republican platform, which is fiscal responsibility [and] traditional marriage.”
Garrett blamed the media for the perception that he was against gay candidates and argued he’d already clarified his position.
“It’s sort of incumbent on the reporter for the paper to say, ‘Well, wait a minute, what proof do you have on that? … He clarified his position nine months ago,” he told the Record. “You’re just telling a different narrative than what he said. You’re making things up, if I may be so bold, you’re lying because he clarified that back nine months ago.”