Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) on Tuesday said that moving forward with President Barack Obama's health care reform law that was passed by Congress in 2008 was a "felony" and a "criminal act."
At a campaign event for Republican New Jersey Senate candidate Steve Lonegan, Perry blamed Democrats for the current government shutdown because they were unwilling to defund or delay the Affordable Care Act.
"If this heath care law is forced upon this country, the young men and women in this audience are the ones who are really going to pay the price," the governor told a crowd at the Bendix Diner in Hasbrouck Heights, according to The Star-Ledger. “And that, I suggest to you, reaches the point of being a felony toward them and their future."
"That is a criminal act, from my perspective, to put that type of burden on them — to mortgage their future like that," he added. “America cannot stand that.”
For his part, Lonegan insisted that he approved of the tactics being used by House Republicans, saying, "We’re shutting down unnecessary parts of government? Good."
Lonegan's Democratic opponent, New Jersey Mayor Cory Booker, blasted the Republican businessman in a statement on Tuesday.
"Steve Lonegan today underscored why he has no business representing New Jersey in the U.S. Senate," Booker said.
"It was bad enough that he reemphasized his allegiance to the extreme right wing of the Republican Party and their efforts to hold the American people hostage by shutting down our government. But in an event today with [Perry], Lonegan also trivialized the furloughing without pay of more than 30,000 New Jersey federal workers."