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Former Gov. James E. McGreevey. Photo by Kevin Sanders for the New Jersey Globe

McGreevey, Codey stump for Menendez

By Nikita Biryukov, November 01 2018 12:47 pm

Sen. Bob Menendez has already gotten help from Gov. Phil Murphy on the campaign trail, but on Thursday he got a boost from two men who used to hold that office.

Former Govs. Jim McGreevey and Dick Codey stumped for Menendez at an event attended by many of the state’s Irish-American Democrats and representatives belonging to the state’s carpenter’s union.

“The person you cast your vote for had better be that person who enshrines your hopes, your dreams and your aspirations,” McGreevey said. “And there’s no one who represents more of the working family dream in this country than Bob Menendez. He is that dream.”

In something of a departure from his style as the state’s governor, McGreevey’s speech kept a largely positive tone, delivering a somewhat mild-mannered speech that largely focused on praise for Menendez’s record in Congress and his role as ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee specifically.

Codey’s speech held more bluster, and while the now-state senator reiterated some of the praise levied on Menendez by McGreevey, he also levied attacks against Menendez’s opponent, Bob Hugin.

“There’s the facts that you look up and then there’s the facts that you think up,” Codey said. “When they see this garbage on TV, again, this man — what a disgrace. I’ve been in politics a long time. I’ve never seen anything like this. A vote for that other guy, let’s not bullshit each other, it’s a vote for Trump.

Codey remarks are an apparent reference to ads Bob Hugin is running that restate unproven anonymous alllegations that Menendez solicited prostitutes, some of whom were underage, during trips to the Dominican Republic.

The claims those ads are based on have been widely panned by fact checkers, but that hasn’t stopped Hugin from running a second, more personal ad restating the attack.

But Menendez isn’t the only one getting help from a once governor.

Though he’s — perhaps wisely — stayed off the campaign trail, a super PAC with close ties former Gov. Chris Christie has aired multiple ads backing Hugin.

Those ads, like many aired by Hugin’s campaign, focus on Menendez’s ethics woes.

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