While thousands of people gathered in Wildwood to hear President Donald Trump (R) stump for U.S. Rep. Jeff Van Drew (R-2) yesterday, Gov. Phil Murphy (D) isn’t impressed: telling reporters this morning that Trump has no right to do “a victory lap” in New Jersey.
During a media scrum in #JerseyCity, @GovMurphy made it quite clear that he wasn’t impressed with @realDonaldTrump‘s #WildwoodRally last night. FULL STORY: https://t.co/WEjVyasBdB pic.twitter.com/DB6Z33LYUx
— John Heinis (@HeinisHardNews) January 29, 2020
“I would say in all due respect to the president, who I will see in a couple of weeks at the annual National Governors Association [conference], he’s taking credit for things in New Jersey that not only has he not had anything to do with, he’s actually made our challenges more difficult,” Murphy said during a media scrum after an unrelated presser in Jersey City.
“Things like capping the local state tax deduction, so to come in and do a victory lap, when we have so many middle class families hurting – as it relates to property taxes and other cuts that he’s made – I find quite ironic, to be diplomatic.”
The governor also said that he did not watch any of the rally, remarking that Wildwood was “a mess,” citing litter and debris left behind, in the aftermath.
Trump’s rally at the Wildwood Convention Center drew a huge crowd, which included some that had arrived at the venue two days in advance.
“Hotels were reportedly booked weeks in advance. Pro-Trump banners hung from the balconies of the town’s 1950s-era motels. Some attendees camped out 48 hours in advance to ensure a spot inside the convention center,” Politico reported.
Van Drew, up for re-election this year, switched parties last month after voting against Trump’s impeachment, expectedly drawing the ire of Democrats throughout the state.
Murphy, in particular, has vowed to ensure that Van Drew is defeated in November. Amy Kennedy and Brigid Callahan Harrison are currently the two most prominent congressional candidates in New Jersey’s 2nd Congressional District.
“President Trump has spent the past three years breaking promises and taking our country backwards by embracing hate and division,” Murphy said in a statement released last night.
“His failed record stands in stark contrast to what we’ve been able to accomplish here in New Jersey, and his presence is a reminder of how important it is that we continue working to make our economy deliver for the middle class, not just the wealthy and well-connected. That’s what we’re fighting for as Democrats, and that’s why we will defeat President Trump and Rep. Van Drew in November.”
Of course, Republicans tend to view Van Drew’s deflection from the Democratic party in a different way.
“What he did was incredible,” Trump said of Van Drew at last night’s Wildwood rally, drawing loud applause from the audience.