Menendez talking points: 'Stop the rush to judgment!'
February 8th, 2013
12:46 AM ET
1 year ago

Menendez talking points: 'Stop the rush to judgment!'

(CNN) - Sen. Robert Menendez has denied wrongdoing regarding several recent claims, including that he partied with prostitutes while on trips to the Dominican Republic.

A memo of talking points sent to supporters by his communications director Tricia Enright after those claims and others surfaced calls for his supporters to "step back, take a breath and look at the facts." The memo of talking points was obtained by CNN.

The memo questions both the source - "the right wing blogosphere" - and the timing - "the first attacks were unleashed just days before the November elections" - of the claims.

Menendez, a Democrat, denied the claims last year and did so again in an exclusive television interview with CNN on Monday.

Since then, additional elements have since emerged, including that the senator questioned federal officials' probes into a friend and campaign donor's financial affairs. A source close to Menendez confirmed that claim is true but did not elaborate. The senator addressed that claim with reporters Thursday, saying that he had "raised concerns ... over policy and over ambiguities that are difficult for medical providers to understand and to seek a clarification of that."

Claims have also arisen that Menendez advocated for a port company in which he owned stock.

The talking points generally rebut the claims, reading, "Let's start by considering the source of these attacks: the right-wing blogosphere has spread these smears from the beginning."

"There is not one source who has come forward to back up the claims and not one piece of evidence that has been produced to back up the right wing machine's smears," the memo continues. "All of the stories lead back to one anonymous "tipster" who spent seven months before the elections peddling unsubstantiated smears to the FBI, and when that didn't work, set up his own website to repeat them... That's it – no evidence, no sources speaking to major news outlets, nothing. Just anonymous smears on right-wing blogs."

The memo suggests further claims may be unsubstantiated because, "Targeting Menendez on prostitutes didn't work. Targeting him on the flights has been easily corrected."

Last month, Menendez paid approximately $58,500 to a friend and campaign donor for several flights he took in 2010, chalking up the lapse in payment to his busy schedule.

The friend and donor, Salomon Melgen, is the same friend Menendez intervened with federal authorities on behalf of.

"Many of the questions being asked of Sen. Menendez were answered months ago," the memo reads. "Shouldn't we be asking who is behind this right wing and/or Republican coordinated effort?"

– CNN's Ted Barrett and Ione Molinares contributed to this report


Filed under: Robert Menendez
soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. Thomas

    What do Salomon Melgen and Gov Rick Scott have in common , Medicare and Medicaid Fraud !

    Why aren't they cell mates ?

    February 8, 2013 01:01 am at 1:01 am |
  2. Gurgyl

    Are these idiot's brains not working? Are we elected these so called third-world-type jerks? Do we lack Education? Did't our grandma teach us ethics, morality, standards in our lives??? Or Are we stooping so low. No wonder I some times want to run for US congress to un-mess these idiocies. But it is a mud.

    February 8, 2013 06:57 am at 6:57 am |
  3. A Kickin` Donkey

    Is Johnny C`s estate still getting paid everytime someone uses this signature, trademarked phrase? I`m just sayin`.

    February 8, 2013 07:17 am at 7:17 am |