With less than 48 hours to go before voters go to the polls on Tuesday, U.S. Senator Cory Booker made two stops in Hudson County to try and rally the troops for his colleague Bob Menendez.
The first stop was in Hoboken along Frank Sinatra Drive, where he was joined by Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla and other local elected officials from the Mile Square City.
Bhalla said that Menendez had worked hard throughout his political career, given his humble beginnings growing up in public housing in Union City, to warrant another six years in the United States Senate.
“The guy has worked for everything he’s ever had, he has earned everything he’s ever had. He ran for school board as a 20-year old and has earned his keep. Nothing was given to Senator Menendez. He is the true embodiment of the American Dream,” the mayor said.
Bhalla then contrasted Menendez’s record in the senate with that of his Republican opponent Bob Hugin, whom Bhalla criticized for wanting to “buy [Menendez’s] Senate seat and influence the outcome of policy in Washington,” then adding that Hugin, unlike Menendez, would not stand up to President Donald Trump (R) on policy.
“This is also an important election because it’s an election where we need to send a message that we are going to stand up to Donald Trump. Do you think that [Menendez’s] opponent will stand up to Trump?,” he questioned.
“His opponent will be a rubber stamp for Donald Trump. Bob Menendez has resisted Trump’s policies tooth and nail, with every breath in his body and we need to makes sure that doesn’t stop. Again, the stakes could not be higher for this county, for this state and for this country.
U.S. Senator Cory Booker spoke energetically, using a war metaphor to explain who he wants to continue to work with in Washington D.C.
“If I am in a trench fighting, if the cause of our country is at stake, if the battle is fraught, if there’s hate being preached from the highest offices in the land, there’s one guy I want in the trench next to me fighting on the front lines of our country, and that partner of mine, that senior senator, my mentor, I want him by my side and that’s Bob Menendez,” Booker began.
Echoing Bhalla, he then warned the crowd that New Jersey can’t afford to send a candidate like Hugin to the senate.
“We cannot allow this state to send someone to Washington who is going to fall into lockstep with a President who has attacked our state, with a tax law that raised our property taxes and took away our deductions for state and local taxes, by coming after our healthcare and by coming after people with pre-existing conditions. We cannot allow that to happen,” said Booker.
Towards the end of his speech, Menendez admitted that despite some mistakes he may have made during his political service, he nonetheless has alway fought for and would continue to fight for ordinary New Jerseyans.
“Whatever mistakes I made, I’ve never been mistaken about who I fight for, where I came from and what I’m doing. I’m fighting for you, for your hopes, for your dreams, for your aspirations,” Menendez said.
Following the conclusion of the Hoboken rally, Jersey City officials – including Council President Rolando Lavarro, Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise and U.S. Rep. Donald Payne (D-10) – welcomed Menendez and Booker to The Factory on Communipaw Avenue.
At the Jersey City venue, we had a brief chance to speak with Menendez ahead of the rally.
“This election has never mattered more. At stake is everything we’ve fought for, educational opportunity, the healthcare of our families, the homes that we own, the opportunity to make sure our civil and voting rights are preserved. And a check on Trump. We need majorities in the Senate and House. That’s what’s at stake in this election. Go out and vote on Tuesday,” Menendez said.
“I need everybody in this room to understand: we vote early, we gain momentum. We’ve got early voting right here, right,” added Booker.
” … I want you all to know that for the last five years, I’ve had the honor and the privilege not just to be your United State Senator, but to be your junior senator with a senior senator like Bob Menendez. And you know there’s a sure sign in life that your doing really good stuff – it’s when people come out and criticize you. If you ain’t doing nothing, nobody’s gonna talk about you.”
Menendez hopes to stave off an aggressive, well-funded challenge from Hugin on Tuesday, who is trailing the incumbent, on average, by about seven or eight points according to public polling.
Both rallies, which streamed live on our Facebook page, can be seen below: