Lautenberg: “Duty” To Party?

STATE – New Jersey Republicans found little humor in a comment Sen. Frank Lautenberg apparently intended as a joke while being interviewed at the Democratic National Convention this week.

During an ABC World News segment about parties hosted by lobbyists, Lautenberg told ABC News’ Brian Ross that is it his “duty” to attend the parties.

“Of course, you must visit, make sure that the food they serve is OK, that it passes the taste test and the liquor is the right vintage,” Lautenberg said.


The senator’s re-election campaign said that Lautenberg was “obviously joking in his comments to ABC,” but Republican challenger Dick Zimmer was not convinced.

“His so-called joke was evidently his best explanation of what he was doing there. I’d like to know what he would have said if he were speaking seriously. There are a lot of things said in jest that have more truth than the speaker lets on,” Zimmer said.

“These kinds of statements are precisely why Sen. Lautenberg is being sheltered away from the public view by his handlers,” Republican State Chairman Tom Wilson said in a statement.

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