Bob Menendez

Menendez Campaign Thanks Trump for Endorsing GOP Challenger

It's unorthodox, but it makes sense.

|

Michael Brochstein/Sipa USA/Newscom

Politicians usually don't celebrate when the president of the United States endorses their political opponents. Democratic incumbent Bob Menendez, however, is grateful that Donald Trump is supporting Republican challenger Bob Hugin in the New Jersey gubernatorial race.

Trump tweeted his endorsement of Hugin today, noting that the candidate has been "successful all of his life" and "would be a Great Senator from New Jersey."

The Menendez campaign was quick to respond with a "thank you":

Prior to his tweet today, Trump had not publicly endorsed Hugin, according to Fox News. That was probably no accident. Though Hugin supported Trump in 2016, it's possible that the candidate didn't want the president to return the favor. As CNBC reports:

Hugin donated six figures to Trump's cause in 2016, was the finance chairman for Trump's New Jersey campaign and served on his presidential transition team. Yet, throughout his campaign, Hugin spent millions of dollars of his own money on ads that not only hammered Menendez for ethics charges, but also cast the former Celgene CEO as an independent-minded candidate who would not pay heed to party when making decisions.

Menendez, for his part, has attempted to tie his GOP challenger to Trump. "[Hugin] will be another vote for Donald Trump," Menendez said at a debate last month. "I will stand up to Donald Trump."

That strategy makes sense. Trump is not particularly popular in New Jersey, a state which Hilary Clinton carried by 14 points in 2016. Trump's approval rating in the state was just 35 percent in a Quinnipiac poll released last month.

For Menendez, taking advantage of voters' dislike for Trump is probably a better plan than letting them focus on the controversy surrounding his own alleged misdeeds. Menendez was indicted last year on federal corruption charges, and while the case ended in a mistrial, it's possible the whole affair might have left a bad taste in the mouths of voters.

It's not clear yet how Trump's endorsement of Hugin will change the race. As I noted last week, Hugin isn't exactly a normal Republican. He backs legalized abortion and LGBT rights, and while he supports border security and opposes sanctuary cities, he does think Dreamers and other illegal immigrants should have a pathway to citizenship.

The nonpartisan Cook Political Report rates the race as a toss-up, though Menendez has a 10.7 point lead in the RealClearPolitics polling average.

NEXT: California Voters Could Repeal a $54 Billion Gas Tax Increase

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Hugin isn’t exactly a normal Republican. He backs legalized abortion and LGBT rights, and while he supports border security and opposes sanctuary cities, he does think Dreamers and other illegal immigrants should have a pathway to citizenship.

    Which is exactly what Trump thinks. Trump told Congress he would sign a bill that gave the “Dreamers” a pathway to citizenship. And Trump has always been pro gay marriage and gay rights. He hasn’t bought into transgenderism, but I doubt Hugin has either.

    1. Since you’re the biggest homophobe here, that must truly disappoint you.

      1. I really don’t care Tony. I know you think that everyone is as obsessed with sex and pervsion as you are and desparately cares about yours, but the fact is we really don’t. Do whatever you want. You are not that special and there is nothing interesting about it.

        But, I do know some people in the Muslim community who are very interested in your sex habits. Good luck with them.

        1. So all sex is perversion, or just sex among gay people?

        2. Tony is too scared to be his gay self in Muslim countries. They would stone his ass. And not in the way he would like.

          Tony hates America but our Constitution and freedoms are the only thing that allows him to be as crazy as he wants to be.

          1. Republicans: Not quite as bad as Muslims! Vote for us!

            1. I am all for underage Dominican hookers, how bouts you, Tony?

              1. No thanks, I’m a bit of a germaphobe.

                1. Yeah sure Tony. From a guy who fucks other dudes in the ass.

                  1. Hey Tony, have you heard about the threadworm infestation going around in gay men?

          2. Democrats: We are the party of slavery, the KKK, and racism. Vote for us!

            1. Son, pick up a goddamn history book. Start at 1964.

              1. History started in 1964?

                I have to disagree with that nonsense.

                Boy! You Lefties hate history, I reminds us how evil Lefties are. Tens of millions murdered or starved for Socialism. 6+ million Jews murdered in Nazi Germany.

                KKK started by Democrats. Democrats are for affirmative action which is being big daddy to what Democrats consider inferior races. Democrats put Japanese-Americans in internment camps.

                Poor Tony and Lefties just cannot get away with it anymore.

                1. You are the kind of stupid that can’t be fixed.

                2. Goddammit, I can’t stand it any more. Hitler was NOT a leftist. No way, no how.

                  Of course, last week you insisted that anti-tax, pro-gun Timothy McVeigh was a leftist, so…?.

                  1. Goddammit, I can’t stand it any more. Hitler was NOT a leftist. No way, no how.

                    We’ve all tried, man – there’s no “there” there.

            2. We may have been that, but in fact during that very same time we were other than that clearly the better party. Prior to 1896, no contest. Except for that whole treating blacks like animals thing. Other than that.

              That’s the problem with that example; it’s used mostly by mainstream conservatives but it doesn’t quite work as well for us (libertarians, constitutionalists, traditional liberals) as it does for them.

              There; watch me piss off both John and LC at the same time!

              1. Meh. It takes more than lefty trolls to piss me off.

                Lefties hiding history is what I expect them to do. The fact that Americans are holding it against them and black people are openly discussing starting their own political party that has no taint of slavery scares the shit out of Democrats. The Democratic Party would cease to be a political force.

                I sometimes think that hardship brings a better result. Years of Lefties fucking Americans over will result in the Democratic party dying. They almost got the USA to fully fall apart by just using incrementalist tactics which are very effective. 2017 and 2018 Lefty violence and lunacy was the switch in tactics that are turning so many Americans off.

                1. I am not a lefty troll! Where are you getting that?

                  1. Tony…

                    1. You’re something.

                      You don’t get off that easy 🙂

      2. Since you’re the biggest homophobe here, that must truly disappoint you.

        And since Hugin’s (more common than you admit) views for a GOP member go against your ridiculous narrative, he must disappoint you, as well.

      3. Since you’re the biggest homophobe here, that must truly disappoint you.

        In fairness, I think Last of the Shitlords is probably the biggest homophobe here.

        1. Tony hates himself a lot….

    2. There is a bit of a difference between Dreamers path to citizenship, and those who came when they were 18 or over. I’m pretty sure I would support the former, though I can see why some would not. But no fucking way, not even on my most pro-immigration day, would I ever support amnesty for those who came here illegally as adults.

  2. Menendez was indicted last year on federal corruption charges, and while the case ended in a mistrial, it’s possible the whole affair might have left a bad taste in the mouths of voters.

    No, the bad taste in your mouth is just the normal stench of New Jersey, you’ll get used to it.

    1. Anyone who would vote for Menendez and not at least refuse to vote is willing to support any Democrat no matter what they do.

      1. Innocent until proved guilty, you know like Kavanaugh?

        1. Presumption of innocence is only for conservatives, silly.

          1. Yeah all of those Demcorats on the Senate ethics committee who voted to censure him were just big meanie conservatives.

            Mendenez like your hero Bill Clinton, loved his visits to that private island with all of the underaged sex slaves on it. And that makes him just the kind of Democrat you love.

        2. Sure. And you can be guilty by a proponderance of the evidence, which Menendez most certainly is and was found as such by both Republicans and the Democrats in the Senate ethics committee and still not be guilty “beyond a reasonable doubt” sufficient for a criminal conviction. They are two different standards.

          Menendez is more likely than not guilty of serious corruption and bribery and also having sex with under age prostitutes. Only someone as cravenly partisan as you are could think he belongs in the Senate.

          1. Not my first choice, but you lunatics were willing to send Roy Moore to help preserve your numbers, weren’t you?

            1. Yes Tony, you will vote for any Democrat no matter what they have done or how corrupt they are. The fact that he is “not your first choice” doesn’t change that. You are a mindless boob who only knows how to take orders.

              1. John you see that analysis linked to by some commenter earlier? What you think?

                1. National Review cheering (R) “bloodbath” … guess Jonah still cries at night

                  1. You did not read it very carefully.

                    1. I *don’t* read National Review they can all suck a bag of dicks. Collecting paychex under shade of real man and real ideas.

                2. It is a guess like everyone else’s. Maybe they are right. But I doubt it. I can’t see a Republican bloodbath. I think at most the Democrats get a small majority in the House and lose two or three seats in the Senate. We will see.

                  NRO is just as guilty of confirmation bias as anyone. They desparately hope that the GOP loses badly so they can blame Trump and have their revenge. They are just pathetic.

                  1. I see. Seemed rather sharp to me, really just confirmed my beliefs about the dynamics at play here. This author seemed extremely hostile to Never Trump indeed. In fact on Twitter he had to remind people that ultimately his conclusion was not to shit all over the establishmentarians for their treachery, which he did do, but to beg them to stop their foolishness and turn out for the new GOP, and for movement conservatives and Trump supporters to not foolishly think they did not need the establishmentarians. He says there are simply not enough Republican voters to win anything if they do not stick together, and it will only get worse with time. I don’t know where everyone is getting this, “Oh it’s pessimism, therefore wishful thinking establishmentarianism, typical NRO.” This author specifically opposes himself to French.

                    1. I think the Republican voters are sticking together. Trump’s approval rating among actual Republicans is sky high. And he got 90% of Republican votes in 2016. I don’t see why that changes tonight.

                    2. >>> “Oh it’s pessimism, therefore wishful thinking establishmentarianism, typical NRO.”

                      dude 2007 until the Never Trump issue in March 2016 was a mess over there … your link was first I’ve clicked on them since … hooray if one of them found a glimmer of sense

              2. I would vote for the Democrat if I was in Steve King’s district. I am very disappointed that he is not being rejected both by the voters and the caucus/committee after that Toronto Nazi endorsement at latest.

                1. I have faith voters will excise him.

            2. Roy Moore must be in jail now for his crimes?

              Oh yeah, nothing further action after the election.

              Americans didn’t fall for it twice did they Tony? Kavanaugh was confirmed.

              This election will be a bloodbath for Democrats. Americans are sick of you Lefties.

          2. “Menendez is more likely than not guilty of serious corruption and bribery and also having sex with under age prostitutes.”

            He is from Joisey … but, of course!

      2. Democrats are such crooks and luckily more and more Americans are voting against them.

  3. Speaking of thank youz, I would like to thanks all the Lefties who lost so bad in 2016 and will lost again this election cycle.

    Without your stupid assumption that the USA was ripe for Socialist takeover, we would not have gotten Trump and the major political shift right for the USA that might just save this country. During Trump’s 8 years as president, he can hopefully get more and more Lefty policies rolled back.

    So, by the time he leaves office the USA will be so down with rolling back government that we can be the best economy in the World again.

    1. During Trump’s 8 years as president

      Nope. 4 years at the absolute most, but more likely 2 and change because Robert Mueller and the Democratic Congress will remove him from the White House next year.

      #TrumpRussia
      #ItsMuellerTime
      #Impeach
      #Resist

      1. OBL, I’m disappointed in you.
        It doesn’t get anymore handmaid’s tale than Robert Mueller, the credibly accused multiple rapist.
        Your woke card has just been revoked

  4. Mendez, the example of corruption from Democrats in Washington.

    I bet he supports hung juries equates to innocence now.

    1. Menendez is the new John Murtha.

  5. Bob Menendez should be in federal prison, no?

  6. He got a hung jury and the DOJ dropped all charges.

    He could not get a jury to acquit him but that’s how our system works.

    Any normal Joe or Jane would have the government retry them until they get a conviction.

    1. The fact that it was a hung jury means he was never acquitted of anything and that he is almost certainly factually guilty of what he was accused of but managed to create a reasonable doubt that he might not be in one or more jurors. You can be likely guilty and still not “guilty beyond a reasonable doubt”.

      1. Would you retry? If not why? If so why is he not being retried?

        1. The Political Class get rules applied to them differently.

          The DOJ dropped all charges and I cannot find a citation as to why.

        2. I would retry. DOJ almost always does. The fact that he wasn’t retried is just DOJ saying that laws are for the little people.

          1. Lack of strong evidence by the government does not typical stop the DOJ from retrial for average people.

            1. Forget it, John, LC. It’s JoiseyTown.

              1. Pretty much. It is just unbelievable.

              2. I know. I was shocked he was indicted in the first place.

      2. Our system allows hung juries to be a non-conviction.

        As long as its consistent.

        Democrats never want consistency. When Lefties get a hung jury it means that they are innocent. When non-Lefties get a hung jury it means that they were guilty and the Russians rigged the jury.

  7. “Trump is not particularly popular in New Jersey, a state which Hilary Clinton carried by 14 points in 2016. Trump’s approval rating in the state was just 35 percent in a Quinnipiac poll released last month.”

    And New Jersey’s approval rating among the rest of the country is about 0.2%

    1. I am surprised it is 35%. I bet George Bush didn’t have that high of an approval rating in New Jersey other than in the first few months after 9-11.

  8. Polls close in Georgia at 7pm EST.

    I might even stay up to see the Lefty tears start to flow by midnight.

  9. Menendez is safe – NJ has ingested too much medical waste to do anything but pull a straight ticket. But odd things do happen, even at 40:1 odds. If that seat flips that would be an earthquake.

    1. Sad but true. In my district, democrats run unopposed for quite a few offices.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.