A new TV ad from Gov. Phil Murphy’s re-election campaign ties Republican rival Jack Ciattarelli’s statewide on the vulnerability of children to COVID-19 to statements made by former President Donald Trump.
The ad, “Repeated,” uses Trump’s voice – but not his image – with footage of a ventilator, followed by photos and video of Ciattarelli, as it seeks to link the GOP candidate for governor with the former president. This is the second negative ad where Murphy looks to connect Ciattarelli and Trump.
Script: (Trump) If you look at children… children… are almost immune from this disease. (Voiceover) Trump lied. Now Jack Ciattarelli repeats it. (Ciattarelli) Children are not vulnerable to this virus. (Voiceover) Wow. Ciattarelli’s against mask and vaccine requirements for public healthcare workers and educators. He’d force schools to stop requiring vaccinations – even for mumps and measles. Extreme politics ahead of science. (Ciattarelli) Children are not vulnerable to this virus. (Voiceover) Jack Ciattarelli. Extreme. Dangerous. Wrong.
In their debate on Tuesday, moderator Sade Baderinwa cited a national spike in children contracting Covid — a 240% increase since July and 30,000 children hospitalized in August – and asked Ciattarelli if he was “standing by his words.”
“You wish you could always say it perfect. Maybe I could have set that more perfect in that interview, but my position really is not inconsistent with the CDC has said all along with regards to the COVID virus as it caused pandemic last year,” Ciattarelli said. “Children in general or not, as susceptible to serious illness and death as adults are.”
The ad will begin running on cable television stations across the state on Friday and on broadcast TV in the New York and Philadelphia media markets on Monday.
In Toms River, almost 900 public school students have either contracted the virus or faced an impact from Covid since the school year started early this month. In August, Ciattarelli appeared at a local school board meeting and urged them to oppose Murphy’s mask mandate.