Rep. Jeff Van Drew (R-N.J.), who left the Democratic Party and joined the Republican party in December 2019, said that the Democratic Party has been distancing itself from tradition, faith, and family.
He made the remarks on Thursday night during the Republican National Convention (RNC).
Van Drew served in several positions in Dennis, New Jersey, during the 1990s. He said that the Democratic Party accepted him after he explained that his political viewpoints are not left, but middle to conservative.
“The local leaders said the Democratic Party was a big tent, and they accepted people like me,” he said.
But he realized after joining Congress that the Democratic Party had been taken away from its original position and moved to the left, and even further radical by “the squad,” Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), and Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.).
“I noticed things were changing, the Democratic Party had become less accepting of American Tradition, less believing in American exceptionalism, less supportive of traditional faith and family.”
In an opinion piece that was published earlier in the day, Van Drew criticized his former party as “a mob that drives policy decisions with the goal of starting over with a new system of governance.”
The Democratic Party National Committee didn’t immediately respond to an email request for comment.
Van Drew, then a Democratic first-term congressman, announced on December 2019 that was switching to the Republican party after meeting with President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) in the Oval Office at the White House.
“This is just a better fit for me,” Van Drew said. “This is who I am.”
The switch came a day after House Democrats voted to impeach Trump. Van Drew voted against both articles of impeachment.
He won the Republican primary for his seat on July 7.
Zachary Stieber contributed to the report.