BAYONNE – U.S. Senator Bob Menendez isn’t buying rival Bob Hugin’s suggestion that his views on women and gay rights have evolved since his days as head of an elite Princeton University eating club in the mid 1970’s.
“This is not the indiscretion of a young guy who may have been misguided at the time, he was in his thirties, Menendez said today. “I was fighting for women when I was in my thirties. I wasn’t discriminating against the LGBTQ community, I was fighting for them.”
Menendez took issue with Hugin’s opposition to the Tiger Inn’s fight to refuse membership to women and his opposition to admitting gay men. Hugin graduated from Princeton in 1976, but continued to fight the admission of women into the 1990’s, when the Republican U.S. Senate candidate was a husband, father and corporate executive.
“He stopped women, or attempted to stop them, from joining the eating clubs of Princeton at a time when the nation made great progress, but evidently they didn’t make progress with him,” said Menendez, a two-term Democrat. “He took the issue to court, including the federal courts, even after women had finally been allowed to enter the eating clubs of Princeton, he took the issue to court.”
Menendez accused Hugin creating a fake image of himself as he seeks public office.
“My opponent wants to portray himself where New Jerseyans are at, which is pro-choice, middle of the road, centrist, but his actions bely his words,” Menendez stated. “He is not for New Jersey. He’s certainly not for women. He’s certainly not for the LGBTG community.”
Menendez noted that he authored New Jersey’s bias crime law when he was in the legislature, and that he is a sponsor of the Equal Rights Amendment in the United States Senate.
He also took a shot at the source of Hugin’s wealth, as the head of a pharmaceutical company.
“He made his money, those ads that are bashing me on TV every day, by making a killing on cancer patients,” Menendez said. “I think that’s immoral.”
In a statement last week, Hugin said “everyone evolves over time.”
“I view many things differently today than I did 25 years ago,” Hugin said. “The Tiger Inn becoming co-ed was a very positive development for the organization and has strengthened it on every level. The decision, made by the undergraduate members, to admit women back in the early 90’s was without question the right thing to do. Personally, I wish I had taken a leadership role in making it happen sooner.”