U.S. Senator Robert Menendez reacted to State Senator Joe Kyrillos’ formal campaign announcement with a statement of his own, issued to Politickernj.
“New Jersey’s voters will have a very clear choice if Senator Kyrillos becomes the Republican nominee- Senator Bob Menendez who fights every day for middle class New Jersey families or long-time Trenton insider Joe Kyrillos- who sides with corporations and special interests over working families and seniors and panders to the most extreme elements of the Washington Republicans,” Menendez campaign strategist Brad Lawrence said in an emailed statement today.
Clearly, Menendez has read the polls and knows his job is at risk. Recent polls indicate that Kyrillos has low name recognition outside of Monmouth County. For an incumbent Senator to react like he did guarantees that Kyrillos’ announcement will get press conference. Menendez, knowing he is vulnerable, has decided to try to define Kyrillos at the risk of increasing his name ID.
Menendez’s recent reversal on Magistrate Patty’s Shwartz’s nomination to the Third Circut Court of Appeals and his back peddling on the Internet Censorship Bill he is a sponsor of, are other indications that he knows his support is soft at best with New Jersey voters.
Menendez’s use of senatorial courtesy to block Shwartz’s nomination to the Appeals Court was met with fierce opposition in the legal community and speculation in the media that he was acting punitively because Shwartz’s boyfriend was the prosecutor who investigated him during his first campaign for Senate. The senator latter reversed himself, saying that after a second interview Shwartz was satisfactory after all.
After the enormous outcry this week against the Protect IP Internet censorship bill sponsored by Menendez in the Senate, lead by Wikipedia, Google, Craigslist and other major web sites, he tweeted, ”