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In Belleville, Menendez Slams Romney's '47 Percent' Speech

Fallout from 'inelegant' comments continues to dog GOP nominee

Article amended Sept. 26

US Sen. Bob Menendez Tuesday held a rally in Belleville on behalf of “the 47 percent,” the slice of the American voting public disparaged in secretly taped remarks made by Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney during a May fundraiser.

Speaking at the Disabled American Veterans post, Menendez, a Democrat seeking a second Senate term, was joined by what he described as some typical members of the 47 percent, including a senior citizen, a military veteran and a young college student. Menendez also touted his own blue-collar roots as the son of Cuban immigrants growing up in Union City.

“I believe that, just like my mom, counting on programs like Social Security and Medicare is not a sense of victimization, it’s not a sense of entitlement,” he said. “That’s something she worked for all her life.”

Since being made public last week Romney’s statements have drawn harsh criticism across the board from Democrats and even some Republicans. Speaking to donors in Florida, Romney said that 47 percent of voters would automatically vote for President Obama because those voters believe they are victims who deserve government help.

Romney later clarified those comments, describing them as “inelegant”. He has also said he would work on behalf of all Americans, including seniors and military veterans, two groups who receive government aid.

Menendez also said that his opponent in the Senate race, state Sen. Joe Kyrillos, has so far failed to distance himself from the remarks, as Republicans in other Senate races have done.

In a statememt, Kyrillos fired back, charging Menendez with failing to "produce" for the people of New Jersey.

“I have a plan to improve the economy and create jobs and opportunity for 100 percent of New Jerseyans.  Instead of focusing on some stray cat remark made months ago, Bob should be focused on producing for the people of New Jersey. He doesn’t deliver," said Kyrillos. "And that’s why he blames everybody – the last president, future presidents, this group, that group. Slices and dices. Let him be about production. That’s what I’ve been all about for my whole career."

cm September 26, 2012 at 11:19 AM
I am loving how the democrats are harping on the 'inelegant' comment from Romney, who was gracious enough to give them something to complain about, other wise how else could they distract from Obama having the highest unemployment rate, the highest debt, his own flag and of course lets not forget that flag that WAS hanging in Florida with his face replacing the star on our beloved Stars and Strips. Hey lets not forget the well to do background living in an elite section of Indonesia and all the trimmings that came with be raised by the vice president of a bank while his wife touts on about how he didn't have it easy and people fall for it. There are a portion of the 47 percent that that really need to be on social benefits and then there are all too many that have a degree in milking the system.
Jeff Mattingly September 26, 2012 at 01:37 PM
The Star Ledger reported, two weeks ago Sunday, that more people in NJ applied for Disability benefits in August then found jobs. Is everyone suddenly coming down with disabilities? Many are looking for a check from the "government". Under Bill Clinton welfare was overloaded and required reform, he and Congress instituted a work requirement for benefits that reduced enrolement by 1/3. How do we reform diability, you can't ask them to work? I listen to radio commercials inviting everyone to apply for food stamps, Senator Menendez and his party majority are multipling government dependancy, as the conditioning of 99 weeks of Unemplotment creates. Those payments come from taxpayers and employers, employers are leaving NJ in droves, the government can give nothing that it first does not take from working people. The systems of relief are already broke and when overloading causes their collapse, sooner than later, where will those senoirs and truly disabled be then?
Jill September 29, 2012 at 01:23 PM
Anyone who thinks Mitt Romney gives a hoot about the American people (other than his multi-millionaire buddies) is sadly deluded. Bob Menendez cares about the poor and the middle class. I respect him tremendously.
Patriot September 30, 2012 at 07:24 AM
Agree with you. The handouts are to BUY VOTES! Totally dispicable! We have become the nanny state. Free phones, free computers, free TV'S, free homes, free food,etc. it is called REDISTRIBUTION OF WEALTH.......what happens when there are no more handout? That is when the HAMMER FALLS?
Patriot September 30, 2012 at 07:30 AM
Mr Menendez is aligned with this administration and believes in BIG GOVERNMENT and a ONE WORLD ORDER CONTROLLED BY THE UNITED NATIONS and those elites hiding behind the curtain. He should be voted out of office!
Belleville Sentinel September 30, 2012 at 05:51 PM
Best Political Ad Ever! http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/27/samuel-l-jackson-to-voters-wake-the-fck-up_n_1919317.html?utm_hp_ref=elections-2012
Bill Heller September 30, 2012 at 06:01 PM
But Kyrillos failed to produce for the people in his home district! He abandoned his District 13 constituents by not even making a comment to support Union Beach in its fight to prevent a 38-story noisy industrial wind turbine with blades each the size of a cell tower from being erected way too close to a lot of homes. It would further degrade home values in our working class town, along with a host of other problems. Hazlet, Matawan, Holmdel, Keyport, Union Beach and Monmouth County (all within his district) also passed resolutions opposing the turbine. But still Kyrillos refused to weigh in, even after he granted a meeting to a few locals looking for his help. Recently, he was the only Republican sponsor on a bill that would have allowed wind turbines up to 500' tall on preserved farm land in two southern NJ counties. Kyrillos is not what he claims. He's a wheeling-and-dealing back door politician with no loyalty to the people he's supposed to represent. I'm a Republican, and will gladly vote for a write-in candidate as Kyrillos is deliberately throwing his Union Beach area constituents under the bus.

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