Sen. Bob Menendez, Democrat of New Jersey, wants his constituents to know that he's not responsible for the "false smears" hanging over his head. Expanding on his previous denunciation of "right wing blogs" -- a wide net that apparently ensnares the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Senate Ethics Committee and federal investigators -- Menendez wrapped himself in the banner of Martin Luther King, Jr., and suggested that his critics are motivated by racial bigotry:
The Newark Star-Ledger reported that Menendez cloaked himself in the language of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. "Dr. King said that ‘the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice,'" Menendez said. "In the end, I believe that justice will overcome the forces of darkness...I have felt the sting of discrimination," he told approximately 300 worshipers, according to the Bergen Record. "It has never been easy. Now we face anonymous, faceless, nameless individuals from right-wing sources seeking to destroy a lifetime of work,” Menendez said at Shiloh Baptist Church. “And their smears are false. I have worked too hard and too long in the vineyards, too long with my hands, for the harvest to be soured."
Quite a sermon. Ironically, part of Menendez's problem is what he may have been doing with those hands. The Daily Caller reports that in addition to the Caribbean hooker allegations against Menendez, an American call girl has identified the senator as a man who has paid her for sex, asserting that he's a well known sexual "hobbyist" on the high-end call girl circuit:
A professional escort who travels the East Coast seeing clients in cities from Miami to Boston has identified a photo of Sen. Bob Menendez as a man who paid her for sex. The woman, in her late 30s, told The Daily Caller prior to seeing Menendez’s photo that she had been paid to provide sexual favors to several U.S. senators, including a New Jersey Democrat and other politicians who are no longer living ... Menendez, she said, is "quite a hobbyist. He sees a lot of girls and doesn’t seem to have the skills to have a relationship." ... "Hobbyists,” she explained, are men who "'hobby' in seeing many girls, as many as they can," referring to escorts who offer companionship and sexual favors in exchange for what they euphemistically call financial "donations."
Care to comment, Menendez spokeswoman?
Tricia Enright, a spokeswoman for Sen. Menendez, responded to a phone message Friday with a one-line email saying she was “curious what you’re writing.” But she did not respond to a request for a statement about whether Menendez has ever paid women for sex, either in the Dominican Republic or in the United States. TheDC offered on Friday to share the contents of this article with Enright on Sunday afternoon, provided that she would send a response from the senator on Sunday evening. She did not respond to that offer.
Menendez's roster of legal and ethical headaches also involves his relationship with an embattled campaign donor, including multiple undisclosed trips on private jets. The senator may be trying to deflect his troubles onto racists, conservatives, and nebulous "forces of darkness," but New Jerseyans don't seem to be buying his woe-is-me act. Menendez is now underwater on favorability, having plummeted 23 points in one month.
Guy Benson is Townhall.com's Political Editor. Follow him on Twitter @guypbenson. He is co-authors with Mary Katharine Ham for their new book End of Discussion: How the Left's Outrage Industry Shuts Down Debate, Manipulates Voters, and Makes America Less Free (and Fun).
Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography