New Brunwsick, N.J. – As Election Day nears, the North Jersey Record Editorial Board joins the growing list of endorsements of Bob Menendez for Senate.
The Board touts Menendez’s bipartisan efforts, stating that he “knows how to work across the aisle with willing Republican colleagues on issues ranging from immigration to trade.”
“He is clear and unequivocal about issues he cares about, from humane immigration reform, to affordable health care for all, to safeguarding New Jersey’s environment,” wrote the Editorial Board. “We believe him when he says he will continue to advocate for the all-important Gateway tunnel project.”
The Record did not forget to mention Trump’s attacks on New Jersey.
“In this day and age, that is, the age of Donald Trump, we need a fighter in Washington,” they wrote. “We as a nation must not be ready to surrender to the hateful rhetoric of division, or to the never-ending chaos of the Trump White House. Bob Menendez won’t surrender either.”
At a pivotal time in our nation, the Board touched on the importance of this election.
“He understands the stakes, and he will act for all New Jerseyans. We can’t say the same for his opponent. The only choice for Senate is Bob Menendez.”
Read the full article below:
By North Jersey Editorial Board, The North Jersey Record
Bob Menendez is no choir boy. We knew that already.
Even before his indictment on corruption charges there were whispers about Menendez and his ethics. And let’s not sugarcoat it; Menendez behaved badly, showed poor judgment in doing the bidding of a wealthy donor, and was later harshly admonished by the U.S. Senate Ethics Committee. He was, however, never convicted of a crime.
What else we know is that Menendez – in his time in the Senate, has fought repeatedly, without fear, for the interests of New Jersey.
He fights for its taxpayers, its rivers, its infrastructure … and its most vulnerable citizens.
In this day and age, that is, the age of Donald Trump, we need a fighter in Washington. We must, even while acknowledging the Democratic senator’s deep flaws, return Menendez to Washington for another term in the Senate.
To do less would be to give in to the worst instincts of a president who thinks he’s a king. To do less would be to wave the white flag of surrender.
We as a nation must not be ready to surrender to the hateful rhetoric of division, or to the never-ending chaos of the Trump White House. Bob Menendez won’t surrender either, of that much we are sure.
While Menendez may come across as arrogant – some would say his name shouldn’t even be on the ballot – and has some trust-building to do, the truth is he knows how to get things done. He possesses a keen intellect and knows how the mechanisms of power work.
That’s a big plus in these dizzying dysfunctional days wrought by Trump’s escapades.
We fear that if Menendez’s Republican opponent, former pharmaceutical executive Bob Hugin, were to win and go to Washington, he would be stuck at the bottom of the seniority barrel. He would be a “blue state” Republican in a Senate increasingly dominated by right-wing, red-state ideologues.
We take Hugin, a former Marine, at his word when he says he would seek to be a moderating force, be independent of GOP leadership, and act for all his fellow New Jerseyans. Yet we worry that his learning curve would be too steep and would include a level of indoctrination to the harsher edges of Republican dogma. That is the last thing we need in Trump’s America.
Menendez, on the other hand, already has seniority, and knows how to work across the aisle with willing Republican colleagues on issues ranging from immigration to trade. Indeed, lots of politicians speak of a need for more bipartisan cooperation; Menendez has shown he knows how it works.
Further, he is not a waffler. He is clear and unequivocal about issues he cares about, from humane immigration reform, to affordable health care for all, to safeguarding New Jersey’s environment. We believe him when he says he will continue to advocate for the all-important Gateway tunnel project.
If this race were simply about New Jersey, we might be inclined to favor Hugin; he is not the “Trump Republican” that Menendez and others describe. He has a sensibility more akin to former Gov. Tom Kean Sr. He seems an independent thinker, is knowledgeable on health care issues, and more reasonable on entitlement programs, women’s reproductive rights and stiffer gun regulations, than most in his party.
We do question his judgment about doubling down on a campaign ad that accuses Menendez of going to the Dominican Republic “to engage in sexual activity” with teen-age prostitutes, a charge never close to being proved. We also can’t be sure of what kind of senator Hugin would be. He has zero governing experience, and some of his decisions about raising the price of cancer drugs while an executive at Celgene leave us questioning his sense of fairness for all.
With Menendez, we know what we are getting. We are getting an imperfect public official who has been through the wars, and lived to tell about them, a politician who has remained vocal whether it always suited him politically or not.
That’s the sort of senator New Jersey needs just now; the kind of senator the nation needs.
At this point in history, we can’t afford to take the chance on a newcomer from Trump’s own party. We need someone who is seasoned, who is unafraid to stand up to Trump when necessary — and willing to meet him halfway if it benefits the state.
Menendez is the one person on the ballot who fits that bill. He understands the stakes, and he will act for all New Jerseyans. We can’t say the same for his opponent.
The only choice for Senate is Bob Menendez.