“For several years, I taught U.S. History at Atlantic Cape Community College,” he wrote. “I did it when I realized how much the fake, hate-America history taught in our schools, colleges, and Hollywood movies for the past 50 years affected my children. America didn’t create slavery. However, 350,000 mostly white Americans died to end it more than 150 years ago.”
Mr. Grossman’s penchant for racially charged comments are not necessarily new — when he challenged the former Gov. Chris Christie in a Republican primary, he called Islam a “cancer.” But, as he runs for Congress, it is another comment that he does not disavow.
“Obviously, radical Islam is dangerous, and I don’t see evidence that moderate or mainstream Islam is doing anything to fight or to marginalize radical Islam,” he said in an interview on Friday. “If anything, they appear to be enabling it and making excuses for it.”
His comments have threatened the increasingly tenuous Republican hold on the seat, which Representative Frank LoBiondo, who is retiring, has held for 24 years, and have led to condemnation from other Republican candidates facing tough races.
“Offensive and racist rhetoric has no place in our party or our public discourse,” said Bob Hugin, the Republican challenging Senator Robert Menendez, a Democrat. “New Jersey is strengthened by its diversity and should embrace it always. No exceptions.”
Representative Tom MacArthur, a Republican who is facing a surging challenge from Andy Kim, a Democrat, also criticized Mr. Grossman.
“As the father of two adopted children from Korea, of whom my wife Debbie and I couldn’t be any more proud or love any more deeply, the fact that we are even having this debate in 2018 is disappointing,” Mr. MacArthur said in a statement. “We’ve seen what prejudice looks like up close, and it’s ugly.”