BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ – It was a laid-back luncheon but the talk was about weighty matters as members of the Berkeley Heights Rotary Club hosted Congressman Leonard Lance on Wednesday at the Chimney Rock Inn, Gillette.
While Lance sat at the table and ate lunch with the Rotary members, they asked questions of the 7th district legislator, some of which sparked more conversation about matters of interest to the voters as the race for Congress heats up. Lance, a long-time New Jersey legislator, is being challenged by David Larsen of Tewksbury for the Republican nomination.
Among the topics discussed during the luncheon were Social Security, Osama Bin Laden, U.S. troops, schools, and campaign reform.
In response to a question about President Obama’s address Tuesday night on the anniversary of the killing of Bin Laden, Lance said he felt the president “spiked the football” and took credit for the killing of the al-Qaeda leader. The killing was carried out by a group of Navy SEALs on May 2, 2011.
“I don’t think Ike took credit on D-Day,” Lance said.
He also addressed questions about taxes and Social Security.
“I would never vote to stop Social Security,” Lance said. “My opponent is critical of me for raising the debt ceiling, but it needs to be done or our credit worthiness would be lowered.”
Lance was also critical of the reported difficulty troops have with getting paid.
“The rate of suicide in the military is as high as it’s ever been,” he said. “These people often have families to support. If you’re asking a soldier with an infant at home to fight, the least you can do is pay him on time.”
Lance was asked if there is a way of regulating when political campaigns start and end, the same way that campaign finances have become regulated. He responded that although he would love it, it would be unconstitutional.