Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-Toms River) on Monday called opponent Andy Kim a hypocrite for supporting Sen. Bob Menendez while holding an anti-corruption event about money in politics, but after some prodding, Kim said he doesn’t intend to drop his support of the senior United States Senator.
“He was called out by The Washington Post for exaggerating his biography. Now, he’s holding an anti-corruption rally as he campaigns with corrupt career politician, Bob Menendez, the same Bob Menendez who Democrats and Republicans on the Senate Ethics Committee say broke federal law,” MacArthur said. “If Andy Kim wants to talk about corruption, he needs to start by disavowing Bob Menendez and calling on him to repay his convicted felon ‘best friend’ for the improper gifts he accepted.”
Menendez, who has campaigned for Kim, was censured by the Senate Ethics committee for accepting gifts from Salomon Melgen.
That hasn’t stopped the senator from campaigning for Democratic candidates seeking to flip Republican districts, like Mikie Sherrill, Tom Malinowski and Kim. All three have returned the favor by backing Menendez.
“Look, I’m supportive of public servants that are looking out for this district, and supportive of the Democratic ticket in this district, top to bottom,” Kim said after he was asked a third time whether he would disavow Menendez. “I think there are a lot of great people out there that are looking to represent this district’s struggle.”
Still, it’s expected that Kim will find the bulk of his support in the more Democratic Burlington County. Geographically, the two counties make up roughly-equal parts of the district.
Kim’s Monday event, which was followed by a press gaggle, was held with End Citizens United’s Tiffany Muller. The organization, which seeks to overturn the landmark 2010 U.S. Supreme Court decision that effectively legalized unlimited independent expenditures in political campaigns.
The group, which endorsed Kim last September, has roughly 6,600 members in the district and has Kim marked as one of its top candidates. The group has also marked MacArthur as one of its top targets.
Editor’s Note: A previous version of this article referred to Kim’s Monday press availability as the candidate’s first of the campaign. It was not.