CNN Blames GOP for 'Dirty Race' in New Jersey

In the 6:00 AM hour of CNN's American Morning on Tuesday, reporter Allan Chernoff singled out Republican New Jersey Senatorial Candidate Tom Kean Jr of engaging in brutal attacks against his Democratic counterpart, Senator Robert Menendez. Chernoff stated in his first report.

Allan Chernoff: "Good morning Soledad. Talk about a dirty race. I think the whole state of New Jersey will want to take a shower tonight after this election is all done with. And certainly Senator Menendez has endured brutal attacks. He's scheduled to vote here in about ten minutes. He'll be glad to have this whole campaign done with because the Kean campaign has consistently been accusing him of corruption, claiming he's under federal investigation."

In the process, Chernoff only briefly mentioned attacks on Kean saying "Senator Menendez has struck back, saying Kean's fund-raising is corrupt and also saying a vote for Tom Kean is a vote for President Bush and for the war in Iraq."Mr. Chernoff refused to inquire on the merits of Kean's attacks and what Senator Menendez is under investigation for. If that was not enough, Chernoff came swinging again for Menendez in the 7:00 AM hour.

Allan Chernoff: "It has been an absolutely brutal campaign, especially the attacks coming from the Republican camp saying that Senator Menendez is corrupt, claiming that he is under federal investigation. The Senator told me, after voting, that he thinks the voters are going to reject all this negative campaigning."

The entire transcript from both hours can be seen below. First the 6:00 AM report:

Allan Chernoff: "Good morning, Soledad. Talk about a dirty race. I think the whole state of New Jersey will want to take a shower tonight after this election is all done with. And certainly Senator Menendez has endured brutal attacks. He's scheduled to vote here in about 10 minutes. "He'll be glad to cast that vote, glad to have this whole campaign done with because the Kean campaign has consistently been accusing him of corruption. Claiming that he's under federal investigation. Senator Menendez has struck back, saying that Kean's fund-raising is corrupt and also saying a vote for Tom Kean is a vote for President Bush and for the war in Iraq. "Now Senator Menendez has been leading in the polls by just a few percentage points. It all depends on which poll you like. And the Democrats are certainly hoping that Robert Menendez can hold on to this seat because even the Democrats do concede this is their one seat in the Senate that is vulnerable. The polls are open until 8:00 p.m. tonight."

Now the 7:00 AM hour:

Allan Chernoff: "Good morning to you, Miles. And this is a critical race, the one seat in the Senate that is vulnerable for the Democrats. Democratic Senator Robert Menendez voted here in Hoboken, about a half hour ago. He said, right after voting, I wish I could just do it again. He said, I regret I can only vote one time. His opponent Tom Kean, Jr., is scheduled to vote a little later this hour. It has been an absolutely brutal campaign, especially the attacks coming from the Republican camp saying that Senator Menendez is corrupt, claiming that he is under federal investigation. The senator told me, after voting, that he thinks the voters are going to reject all this negative campaigning." Senator Robert Menendez, (D-NJ): "You never want to have a campaign that is focused just on the politics of personal destruction. That's what my opponent chose to spend all of his time, all his resources, over $7 million in personal attack ads. The bottom line is, I think you'll see a rejection of that tonight." Chernoff: "Menendez is slightly ahead in the polls. This is actually his first run for the Senate since he was appointed earlier this year to the Senate slot when