The Star-Ledger has endorsed Bob Menendez for re-election to the U.S. Senate, saying that “Menendez has his flaws, but when he says he is a fighter for New Jersey, and against Trump, he’s telling the truth”
“Both candidates are slippery characters, even by Washington standards,” the editorial board wrote. “Our hope is that voters remember that Trump is on the ballot, that they choke down their reluctance and vote for Menendez. He’s no gem, but he’s better than Hugin.”
The Star-Ledger slapped Menendez on ethics and beat up on Hugin for jacking up the cost of life-saving cancer drugs and for paying $280 million to settle a lawsuit that the pharmaceutical company he led concealed side effects of that drug.
“The secret of this campaign is that Hugin knows very little about public policy. Dig beyond the sound bites, and he seems lost,” the newspaper said. “Hugin is asking for a seat in the U.S. Senate, and has no fluency on any of these meaty issues. He is a newcomer to politics, and he hasn’t done his homework.”
The bigger problem for the Star-Ledger editorial board is Hugin’s close ties to President Trump.
“Many Republicans felt duty-bound to support Trump in 2016, but Hugin charged to the front of the parade and waved the flag,” the Star-Ledger said.
They cited Hugin’s personal contributions – more than $200,000 – to the “Trump cause” and his strong involvement in helping to put Trump in the White House.
The editorial board had no problem with Menendez’s voting record.
“During his long career in state and federal politics, his colleagues in both parties have consistently ranked him as highly effective. He’s produced concrete results on parochial issues like securing help for Sandy victims, and on weighty national issues like health care and immigration,” said the newspaper. “Menendez helped draft Obamacare and has fought hard against relentless Republican efforts to weaken it, including its protections for people with pre-existing conditions like cancer or diabetes.”
“When you get past ethics, the central issue in this race is Donald Trump. The question is which candidate can best fight Trump’s toxic policies, his grotesque appeals to racial and ethnic tribalism, and his corrosive attacks on the pillars of our democracy, starting with the rule of law,” the Star-Ledger said? “That makes this an easy decision: Menendez is the better choice, by far. He has our endorsement.”