U.S. Senate candidate Bob Hugin took aim at his home state today by telling a Republican audience in South River that “it’s embarrassing to say you’re from New Jersey.”
“People have such disrespect for New Jersey,” Hugin said. “You get what you deserve.”
Brian Goldberg, who is challenging the pharmaceutical millionaire in the GOP primary, criticized Hugin for disrespecting New Jersey.
“I’m proud to say I’m from New Jersey,” Goldberg told the New Jersey Globe tonight. “Wow. Just wow.”
Hugin made his comments at the Middlesex County Republican Women’s Club’s annual Reagan Day celebration.
While Hugin’s comments were a rebuke to incumbent senator, Bob Menendez, the first-time candidate might be questioned down the road about his close ties to former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. He contributed $250,000 to Christie’s super PAC, $2,700 to Christie’s presidential campaign and $5,000 to the Leadership Matters for America PAC.
The Menendez camp joined Goldberg in panning Hugin’s comments.
“Bob Hugin ought to be embarrassed by the millions of dollars he’s made cheating cancer patients out of life saving drugs,” said Michael Soliman, a senior political advisor to Menendez. “Hugin ought to be embarrassed that he’s given tens of thousands of dollars in support of Donald Trump and served as a Trump delegate in 2016. Hugin would be a total embarrassment to New Jersey by being just another vote for Donald Trump.”
Hugin’s campaign strategist affirmed the GOP candidate’s respect for New Jersey.
“Bob hears all the time how frustrated New Jerseyans are to endure jokes about out-of-control taxes and corrupt, self-serving politicians like Senator Menendez,” said Chris Russell. “Bob Hugin grew up in New Jersey, went to college here, raised his family here, and built a business here. He loves New Jersey and is running so we can all have a Senator we can be proud of again.”
This story has been updated to include comment from the Hugin campaign.