‘Choke It Down’: Paper Offers Tepid Endorsement Of New Jersey Candidate

They might as well have not endorsed anyone at all.

NJ.com is certainly no fan of Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ). Three years ago, the news outlet’s editorial board called on Menendez to resign over allegations of corruption. But now, that same editorial board is telling readers to “choke it down, and vote for Menendez.”

“This year's U.S. Senate race presents the most depressing choice for New Jersey voters in a generation, with two awful candidates whose most convincing argument is that the other guy is unfit to serve,” the editorial board wrote. “But please, don't walk away. Being a patriotic American is not just about fighting enemies abroad or helping flood victims at home. It's about making our democracy work, even when pulling the lever brings no joy.”

The board went on to call both candidates “slippery characters, even by Washington standards.”

Ouch.

NJ.com describes Menendez’s bad qualities briefly:

“Before he was caught in 2015, Sen. Robert Menendez broke Senate rules by routinely accepting expensive gifts, including private jets to luxury resorts abroad. He kept those gifts secret, breaking another rule. He then used his office to promote the personal and business interests of the man who paid the bills. All that was the unanimous conclusion of the Senate ethics committee, including all its Democrats.”

The news outlet says, “It’s a miracle that Menendez escaped criminal conviction, and an act of profound narcissism that he stayed in the race despite this baggage, putting a Democratic seat at risk while Donald Trump sits in the White House.”

But as bad as Menendez is, NJ.com thinks his Republican challenger, Bob Hugin, is even worse. Hugin’s crime? He was CEO of a pharmaceutical company that made millions from life-saving drugs.

NJ.com claims Hugin’s campaign put out “the most vicious lie of this election season in New Jersey.” The ad in question suggests Menendez may have slept with underage prostitutes in the Dominican Republic, something the FBI investigated, but didn’t find enough evidence with which to charge the New Jersey senator. This, of course, doesn’t mean the sex never happened. This was the first point NJ.com brought up against Hugin, which is odd, considering how many nasty attack ads are out there of a dubious factual nature. This one at least had quotes from the FBI and the Obama Justice Department.

NJ.com then attacks Hugin for his company, Celgene, pointing out a legal settlement of $280 million. One came after a whistleblower lawsuit saying Celgene deceived doctors by not revealing potentially fatal side effects of some of its cancer drugs. The other suit claimed Celgene defrauded Medicare.

Hugin’s spokesman, Nick Iacovella, told the Daily Wire in an email that the federal government “did not intervene in the whistleblower lawsuit and the government did not put any corporate integrity agreement on the company”

“There's a reason why the federal government didn't intervene and say Celgene did anything wrong in this settlement,” Iacovella wrote. “That's because the federal government not only knew every single thing Celgene was doing and every patient who was taking this cancer fighting medicine, but the federal government was also paying for it because it was helping tens of thousands of patients.”

 
 
 

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