Asked at today’s Covid briefing whether President Joe Biden’s struggling approval ratings have any impact on his choices or policies, Gov. Phil Murphy today reaffirmed his commitment to Biden’s agenda and said the president is a welcome presence in New Jersey.
“[Biden] and I go way back, and in New Jersey he was viewed as our third senator for decades,” Murphy said. “It’s a place both he and the First Lady feel very comfortable to, and he’s always, always, always welcome – I don’t care what the polls say, good, bad, or otherwise.”
Murphy added that Biden’s two main priorities in Congress at the moment, an infrastructure bill and a social spending bill, align with what New Jersey has already done and intends to continue doing.
“New Jersey is basically doing everything that they’re debating to do in Congress,” Murphy said. “So this is not an abstract question – do you think this stuff would be helpful to kids or students or college-goers or someone looking for affordable housing or whatever it might be – we know the answer. The answer is yes, because we’re doing it here and it’s having a huge impact.”
Biden visited the state on Monday, touring an elementary school in North Plainfield and the Portal Bridge in Kearny to promote the two main prongs of his agenda. While Republicans dismissed the visit as an attempt to prop up Murphy’s re-election, Monmouth University Polling Institute director Patrick Murray said this morning that it may as well have been the other way around.
“The president’s visit on Monday may have done more to boost Biden rather than Murphy when you look at their approval ratings,” said Murray, whose poll found Biden’s approval rating underwater in New Jersey at 43-49%.