Traditional Labor Day breakfast in South Jersey morphs into political rally

Bob Menendez's quest for a third term in the U.S. Senate is quickly turning into a dogfight.

David Madden
August 31, 2018 - 2:13 pm
Labor Day weekend breakfast

Dave Madden/KYW Newsradio


COLLINGSWOOD, N.J. (KYW Newsradio) — Labor Day weekend traditionally marks the start of the fall political season. So it should come as no surprise that a Labor Day weekend breakfast in South Jersey served as a rallying point for the mid-term congressional election, particularly for one Democrat in a real battle to stay in the U.S. Senate.

Sen. Bob Menendez's quest for a third term is quickly turning into a dogfight against Republican opponent Bob Hugin. But Menendez directed most of his concerns at President Trump.

Take the president's selection of D.C. Appeals Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

"In Kavanaugh's decisions time after time, decision after decision, he puts the rights of big corporations ahead of working people and everyday consumers each and every time," Menendez said. "That, for me, is more than enough to vote against him as a Supreme Court nominee when that time comes."

He also took Trump's plan to halt a scheduled 2 percent pay raise for federal workers to task, suggesting it's just another sign of the president's bias against organized labor in general.

"In the White House, we have a president who believes that being wealthy is the same as being worthy," he added. "Someone who campaigns like a populist but who governs like a corporate elitist."

Congressman Don Norcross, also seeking re-election, noted the fact there hadn't been an increase in the federal minimum wage in 11 years. He's been working on legislation to raise the minimum nationwide to $15.00 an hour.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy and Senate President Steve Sweeney also addressed the crowd briefly before all left to attend a wreath laying ceremony in Pennsauken at the grave of Peter McGuire, who helped to establish Labor Day as a national holiday in 1882. The gravesite is on New Jersey's State Historic registry, and Norcross is working to have it added as a national historic site.