DENVER — Senator Bob Menendez will not speak at the Pepsi Center during the Democratic National Convention, despite the lobbying by fellow influential New Jersey politicians on his behalf.
Menendez was the New Jersey’s delegation’s hope to place one of their own in the spotlight. Politicians were banking on his Latino appeal.
When asked by reporters whether he felt snubbed, Menendez responded said that he didn’t.
“The bottom line is, look, different conventions, different people speak. Speaking is not important. Winning is important.”
Meanwhile, sources close to Menendez emphasized that, even if other politicos were pulling for him, he never made an effort to get a spot himself.
Governor Corzine, who said he would speak out on Menendez’s behalf yesterday, said that the delegation should not take the fact that New Jersey has any speakers as any sort of slight.
“We’re all very, very much plugged in. There shouldn’t be any mistake in any peoples’ minds that Sen. Obama is going to be in New Jersey the day after the Republican convention. He’s looking to make sure that there’s a statement in one of the most important media markets, in one of the most important voting bases for the Democratic Party, and he wants to be there. You’re making something out of nothing.”
Corzine noted that he didn't get a chance to speak in his 2000 U.S. Senate campaign.
"The issue that is on everyone's mind when we have a convention is let's win the battleground states, let's get the electoral votes that make Barack Obama the president of the United States," he said.