Washington (CNN)Sen. Bob Menendez said Wednesday that a fellow Democrat who is running for Congress after admitting to abusing his ex-wife decades ago "probably should be" seen as having disqualifying behavior in the eyes of voters.
Menendez: Democratic candidate's past spousal abuse 'probably should be' seen as disqualifying
When asked by CNN's Poppy Harlow on "CNN Newsroom" if domestic abuse over any period of time should be disqualifying behavior for a candidate in an election, the New Jersey Democrat replied, "In my view, it probably should be. Of course, the electorate always decides what is and what is not disqualifying. But in my view, you know, even if it's that long period of time, it should be."
Archie Parnell, who overwhelmingly triumphed in Tuesday night's South Carolina Democratic congressional primary, admitted last month to attacking and beating his ex-wife 45 years ago. The ex-wife said this caused her to fear for her life and she obtained a restraining order against Parnell. Their divorce was finalized in 1974. He remained in the race despite calls from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee to drop out as well as resignations of his top staffers.
Parnell's victory comes at a time of heightened national debate about domestic violence. Parnell has called his past behavior "inexcusable" but said he has since changed.