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Former Vice President Joe Biden, left, campaigns for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Phil Murphy in 2017. (Photo courtesy of Murphy for Governor).

Murphy, Biden haven’t discussed vice presidential pick

Governor hasn’t spoken with presumptive presidential nominee in weeks but maintains contact with staff

By Nikita Biryukov, August 07 2020 3:13 pm

Gov. Phil Murphy and former Vice President Joe Biden haven’t spoken in some time, nor have they discussed the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee’s vice presidential pick.

“It’s been a number of weeks, but we speak to his people all the time, and I literally mean that, whether it’s Ron Klain or Jake Sullivan, others in his group,” Murphy said. “When I spoke to him, it was all about coronavirus. I’ve not had any conversations with him about vice president, which I assume is imminent.”

Klain was Biden’s chief of staff during President Barack Obama’s administration. Sullivan was a Biden’s national security advisor. Both men are involved in the former vice president’s campaign to oust President Donald Trump.

In May, Murphy and Govs. Ned Lamont, of Connecticut, and Gretchen Whitmer, of Michigan, joined Biden for a digital COVID-19 roundtable.

New Jersey’s governor endorsed Biden then, and First Lady Tammy Murphy appeared at a virtual Biden fundraiser last month.

The absence of direct contact between Gov. Murphy and Biden over the past weeks means the presumptive nominee did not reach out when New Jersey showed signs of a COVID-19 backslide last week, though the state’s handling of the virus has left it in better shape than most other states in the union, despite last week’s uptick in cases and virus transmission rates.

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