South Jersey congressional candidate under fire for diversity comments

A South Jersey congressional candidate is under fire. It centers around controversial comments Republican Seth Grossman made about diversity.

"What were you thinking here?" FOX 29's Chris O'Connell asked. Grossman replied, "Well, I didn't think I said anything unusual."

Republican congressional candidate Seth Grossman says he would say it again if he had to. A firestorm around a statement recorded back in April at a Salem County candidate forum as first reported by the Philadelphia Inquirer.

"The whole idea of diversity is a bunch of crap and un-American," he said.

The Somers Point attorney won the Republican primary for the Second District covering most of South Jersey. Running on a pro-Trump agenda, Grossman says diversity is not an American virtue.

"I basically said that diversity is a code word or a dog whistle word for an agenda where you pick people based on what race or ethnic group what sexual preference or what sex they are as opposed to their character, talent, or how much work they do. And I think that's ridiculous. It's un-American. I actually think it's disgusting," Grossman said.

He also goes after former Republican Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno saying she got elected because she's a woman.

"I think Republicans make a big mistake when we nominate lesser-qualified candidates because they fit into that box. I believe that's why Republicans nominated Kim Guadagno instead of Jack Ciattarelli last time. Oh, she's a woman," Grossman said.

We showed the video to voters in the Second Distric and most had the same response.

"A very frightening position for someone who wants to be in congress to hold," James Plourde said.

Number one, he wouldn't get my vote. The whole idea of diversity being crap is like asinine, ludicrous," William Daniels said.

Grossman who calls himself a Kennedy Democrat says he grew up in predominantly black neighborhood in Atlantic City and those who call him racist are wrong.

"Our whole constitution our whole declaration of independence does not buy into the idea that because someone is from a different race and different sex a different sexual preference or ethnic group that they are entitled to different treatment under the law," Grossman said.

In a statement a spokesperson for Grossman's opponent said;

"As a strong supporter of diversity and inclusion, Senator Van Drew is quite disappointed with Seth Grossman's comments, and feels diversity plays a large role in our success as a nation. Senator Van Drew wants to be a Congressman that embraces our diversity because that has been the foundation of America's success for generations as a land of opportunity."