Republican gubernatorial hopeful Jack Ciattarelli proclaimed that Gov. Phil Murphy (D) is “one and done in ’21,” vowing to fix taxes by restructuring the local business climate, get rid of sanctuary cities, and detailing his support for President Donald Trump (R).
“Murphy’s one and done in ’21,” Ciattarelli, a former state assemblyman, said to applause at the Hoboken GOP’s annual February dinner celebrating Abraham Lincoln last night.
“Let me tell you why he’s one and done in ’21: he doesn’t get it. Maybe it’s because he’s not from New Jersey, maybe it’s because he doesn’t understand New Jersey, but I’m telling you: this guy doesn’t get it, he’s not one of us. Any governor that sits on the stage at Rowan University and says that ‘if taxes are your issue, we’re probably not your state’ – that’s what he said on the stage at Rowan University.
Ciattarelli, who lost the Republican gubernatorial nomination to then-Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno in 2017, continued that if Murphy really wants to make New Jersey similar to California with extremely liberal policies that check Trump – he should move to California.
He also exuded confidence about his chances if he gets to go head-to-head with Murphy last year, noting that The Garden State hasn’t elected a Democratic governor to a second term in 42 years.
While taking questions from the room of about 50 people at Lola’s Tapas on 14th Street, the declared candidate made it clear that he felt the exact opposite way that Murphy does about sanctuary cities and other immigration related concepts.
“I’ve said all along that I wish the governor would stop encouraging illegal immigration,” he began.
“He likes to say how he’s made New Jersey stronger and fairer: you don’t make New Jersey stronger and fairer by giving parolees voting rights, by giving driver’s licenses to illegals, by declaring sanctuary cities and sanctuary states. By telling local law enforcement agencies they can’t work with federal agencies to address illegal immigration: we’re opposed.”
In an interview with HCV, Ciattarelli scoffed at Murphy’s budget address from earlier in the day, exclaiming that he appears to be taking “a band-aid approach” to address rising property taxes.
“We need real reforms that truly lower property taxes. He keeps talking about an increase being smaller than in past decades: we’re talking about something that’s already way too high. And secondly, he’s yet to truly do anything that’s going to improve our business climate,” he explained.
“If we don’t strive to improve our business climate in Jersey, people are not gonna find the jobs they want to find, we won’t be having entrepreneurial opportunities in New Jersey: the way to fix New Jersey is by lowering property taxes and improving our business climate.”
During his speech, Murphy spoke about allocating millions of dollars to local school districts, boasted astronomical property tax relief, and again pitched the millionaire’s tax.
5 weeks ago when Ciattarelli officially announced his candidacy, the Murphy campaign denounced him as a “transactional Trenton hypocrite” for supporting the president after initially not supporting his candidacy in 2016.
According to the challenger, Trump’s track record speaks for itself: the economy, foreign relations with China, the war on ISIS, and the need to establish secure borders have all been successful national endeavors.
However, he also stated that he doesn’t agree with the president on everything, supporting the construction of the Gateway Tunnel, opposing offshore drilling, and indicating he wants the SALT deduction restored.
“As governor, I need to advocate for the people of New Jersey. And some of the things I want to advocate for, when I’m governor, and working in partnership with the president, are things like funding for the Gateway project, people of all stripes in New Jersey are not favorable to offshore drilling, and certainly we want to have the SALT deduction restored hear in New Jersey.”
Murphy’s office did not return an email seeking comment this morning.