Former president Bill Clinton and President Barack Obama are taking opposite sides in a heated New Jersey congressional race between two incumbent Democratic congressmen–Steve Rothman and Bill Pascrell. President Clinton is traveling to Paterson tonight to appear at a rally for Mr. Pascrell and, this morning, President Obama invited Mr. Rothman to a private meeting in the Oval Office where he expressed support for his campaign.
“President Obama asked me to come to the Oval Office today so that everyone will know that he supports me and wants me to help him with his agenda in his second term, as I have in his first,” Mr. Rothman said in a statement. “I sincerely appreciate President Obama’s support at this crucial time. It means the world to me to have him take the time out to speak with me this morning.”
Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, the author, television personality and erstwhile spiritual guru to Michael Jackson, has raised $90,470 since starting his underdog New Jersey congressional campaign last month. Mr. Boteach announced his first quarter fundraising results in a statement today that also touted some of his big name backers; Birthright Israel co-founder Michael Steinhardt, coffee mogul Sunny Sassoon, conservative radio host Dennis Prager, Elie Wiesel’s son, Elisha and House Minority Leader Eric Cantor, whose PAC gave Mr. Boteach $5,000.
“The substantial sum we raised in little over five weeks, since announcing my campaign, is evidence of the passionate desire on the part of Americans for a values-based campaign that dismisses divisive social wedge issues and focuses on fixing the family, combatting materialism and greed, and encouraging service and commitment on the part of America’s citizens,” Mr. Boteach said in a statement. “I am humbled by the support we have gained with our message of dignity through self-reliance and economic renewal through personal accountability and entrepreneurship.”