Party problems: Palatucci says stalemate over speaker is hurting Republicans nationally and in N.J.

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Bill Palatucci was clear in his answer: “Embarrassing and disappointing — and a real problem for the party going forward,” he said.

The question wasn’t as obvious.

Even though Friday marks two years since the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol, Palatucci wasn’t talking about that infamous day, but, rather, his party’s inability to elect a speaker of the House this week.

U.S. Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), the acknowledged frontrunner, has failed to get enough support in 11 votes over the past three days — held back by five defiant members (who have managed to get up to 15 more Republicans to join their cause).

Right now, it’s a stalemate. And it’s the reason why Palatucci, who went down to Washington, D.C., earlier this week to support and celebrate the swearing-in of Tom Kean Jr., as the state’s third Republican congressman, came back…

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