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Gov. Phil Murphy. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for the New Jersey Globe)

Murphy camp hits Ciattarelli over Trump praise

By Nikita Biryukov, March 09 2021 4:42 pm

Gov. Phil Murphy’s campaign on Tuesday launched an attack at Republican gubernatorial candidate Jack Ciattarelli over praise he offered to President Donald Trump.

“Once again, it’s clear whose side Jack Ciattarelli is on, and this is only the latest example in a series of shameless attempts to prioritize loyalty to Trump over New Jersey values,” Murphy campaign spokesman Jerrel Harvey said.

Over the weekend, Ciattarelli praised Trump’s policy record on Real Talk With Ronnie.

“Trump’s policies worked. If you didn’t like his personality, let me give you five or six policies, and I’ll go through it with you,” he said. “He played hardball with China, won the war on ISIS, solved Middle East by recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, took care of border security, the economy, and he transformed the federal bench to conservative judges, which is healthy for America.”

Eric Arpert, Ciattarelli’s campaign manager, referred to a statement the candidate gave in response to an attack over his appearance at a “Stop the Steal” rally.

“Phil Murphy is desperate to talk about anything other than his record of sending 8,000 seniors and veterans to their death in our nursing homes, vaccinating prisoners before teachers, keeping our children out of school, raising our taxes, and destroying small businesses,” Ciattarelli said last week.

The campaign is likely to progress in this way through the primaries, with Ciattarelli attacking the incumbent over his handling of the pandemic and Murphy hitting the former Assemblyman on an ex-president whose influence still looms over the Republican party.

“Jack’s list of Trump policies that ‘worked’ conveniently excludes inciting an attack at the U.S. Capitol, a botched federal response to the pandemic, and repeated efforts to strip health care away from millions of people,” Harvey said. “Jack Ciattarelli is another transactional Christie-era insider who is out of touch with the issues that matter, and New Jersey voters will reject his desire to bring Trumpism to the state.”

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