Gov. Phil Murphy is no fan of his predecessor, but he frequently side-steps opportunities to take gratuitous shots at former Gov. Chris Christie.
There are exceptions and today he slammed Christie after the former governor said that Murphy wasn’t doing enough to help small businesses get through the coronavirus pandemic.
“Give me a break, please,” Murphy said in response to a question about Christie’s shot at him.
Murphy said he didn’t know “whether to laugh or to cry” that Christie was invoking the Economic Development Authority as an example of what he told the Star-Ledger “has not been a shared sacrifice.
He said the EDA under Christie “as a piggy-bank for special interests under his leadership.. big companies at absolute expense of small companies.”
“Come on, man, particularly given the train wreck that the EDA was under his leadership, all for the benefit of special interests at the expense of small businesses, especially how public sector workers were crushed under him,” Murphy said.
According to Murphy, the EDA has committed $100 million to help 20,000 small businesses.
“Half of them already have the money,” he said. “So we are in there every single day doing everything we can for small business. We need more help, another reason why we need federal cash assistance.”
Murphy defended public workers, saying that laying off middle class employees “at the front lines providing the services our residents so desperately need” is a bad idea.
“Who thinks that laying them off somehow benefits New Jersey’s families, when in fact the exact opposite is the case?” Murphy asked.
Still, Murphy applauded efforts by Christie and former First Lady Mary Pat Christie, who raised $800,000 to help small businesses.
“We shouldn’t take away from that,” Murphy said. “I wish he had stopped there.”