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Menendez, Kyrillos Pledge Support For Israel

The two candidates for New Jersey's Senate seat discussed multiple topics at a forum sponsored by Greater MetroWest New Jersey, held in Livingston Monday night.

Tackling issues from Obamacare to gun control – U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez (D-New Jersey) and his challenger, State Sen. Joe Kyrillos (R-Dist. 13) squared off in a forum Monday night at Temple Beth Shalom in Livingston.

The competitors took part in an hourlong question-and-answer session sponsored by the Community Relations Committee of Greater MetroWest New Jersey.

Both candidates pledged support for Israel and the relationship between the country and the United States.

"Since I was elected to the Senate, I believe Israel has had no greater friend in the United States Senate than I have been, no greater ally, no greater defender of the people of Israel against all threats and against anti-Semitism,” said Menendez.

Kyrillos reflected upon his receipt of the 2010 State of Israel Bonds Peace Medal and said that “now, more than ever, we need to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Israel to mitigate the new and heightened risks she faces.”

Kyrillos is challenging Menendez, the incumbent U.S. Senator, who has held the post since 2006. Both men have sered at the state Legislature, with Kyrillos, a Republican, holding a seat in the New Jersey Senate since 1992.

Besides Israel, both candidates spoke about domestic issues as well, including the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. 

Kyrillos and Menendez had a sharp difference in opinion regarding the law.  Kyrillos said he favors a more “marketplace approach” that would allow consumers to be able to find health care across state lines.  Menendez said he supports the act and “found it amazing” that Republican nominee Mitt Romney would be against the act when it is “the essence” of the law Romney enacted in Massachusetts.

While Menendez said he supports Obama’s policies and couldn’t immediately point to a difference in his policy’s from the president, Kyrillos painted himself as more of a moderate than his presidential candidate, Mitt Romney.

 “I consider myself pro-choice,” said Kyrillos.  “I believe there are reasonable restrictions and constraints that reflect the issue.  I believe in parental notice.  I don’t like partial-birth abortion, and I believe in a short waiting period, but I believe it’s everybody’s choice.  They can make up their own mind.”

Menendez, when asked whether he supports gun control laws, said he favors "intelligent and reasonable gun control measures" including limits on assault rifles, ammunition purchases and waiting periods.

"I don’t think you need to be a hunter with an ammunition clip with 100 rounds in it," he said. "If you do, you’re a very bad hunter."

The candidates also mentioned sanctions against Iran, Medicaid funding and both agreed to work in a bipartisan way, if elected.

When the candidates met during the middle of the forum, the two men shook hands and posed for pictures.

clyde donovan October 23, 2012 at 05:32 AM
Here you've got Menendez, a liberal Democrat, in the Senate for the nearly four years Obama has been in office. Menendez hasn't gotten squat for New Jersey from Obama, another liberal Democrat. It's time to give someone else a chance at representing the people of New Jersey in the US Senate. I'm going o vote for Kryillos.
Chris October 23, 2012 at 05:17 PM
Support for Isreal?? Aren't these candidates for Senators from NJ? How about trying to fix NJ's problems FIRST. These guys will say/do anything just to get a vote. Well, you lost mine!
Car14 October 23, 2012 at 07:28 PM
this guy(Menendez) is a joke. Get him out of office. He is BAD for NJ. Funny...this article says they pledge their support for israel and the president of the United states doesn't! how ironic. http://www.jpost.com/LandedPages/PrintArticle.aspx?id=284167
Sue Osnato October 23, 2012 at 09:21 PM
I totally agree with the previous poster. When you don't produce year after year. Especially in a state with such high property taxes and very little relief for the citizens of the State. It is time to go. You are not doing your job Senator. To only show interest at election time is not acceptable.
Sue Osnato October 24, 2012 at 01:18 AM
Senator Menendez represents us (himself) on the federal level. Therefore, he would be dealing with issues relating to Israel. He is trying to get the voters who are concerned with that area.
Sue Osnato October 24, 2012 at 02:29 AM
I was curious because I know our federal return of tax dollars spent on New Jersey is dismal as best. So I looked around. One of the most current figures I could find dates back to 2008. However, both our Senators Lautenberg and Menendez represented us at that time. See link below http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2008/07/nj_gets_lowest_state_return_on.html I truly believe we deserve better than this. Don't you?
Richard E. Templin October 24, 2012 at 04:23 AM
Here are some of the key segments of the forum. http://youtu.be/WWNspL_S_Uw http://youtu.be/ScpvAWA7AO4 http://youtu.be/zX-C9zPY7X4 You can find the rest at http://YouTube.com/RockChatham
Smokestack October 24, 2012 at 03:33 PM
I am not surprised in the least. These two weenies are typical two faced politicians. I am a NJ resident and I don't support the terrorist actions of the Israeli state. These guys pledge their support for racism, hatred and genocide. They certainly don't represent my best interests. Israel is the biggest terrorist state in the world and are trying to lead us into WW3. And these two politicians will do anything to get elected. Don't believe the hype. These guys are both bad news for NJ.
Smokestack October 24, 2012 at 03:36 PM
Oh yeah, and for all you pro-Israel fanatics out there, don't you dare call me anti-Semitic. I am jewish and both my parents were holocaust survivors.
Stefan October 27, 2012 at 03:55 PM
Thank you Smokestack, I've had conversations in which I only said that the Israelian government shoudl treat all peace loving inhabitants as equal so also the Palestinians and that their internal policy has clear signs of oppression, ethnic cleansing and war crimes... after that I was called anti-Semitic...Since I'm not Jewesh (even though I many good Jewish friends who think alike) there wasno way I could defend myself. I'm happy to see your post here and see I'm not the only one who hate fanatics who are pro-war, pro-discrimination and pro-hatred !!

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