Though he’s set to become chair of the Democratic Governors Association (DGA) in just a few months, Gov. Phil Murphy said today that he doesn’t currently have any plans to travel around the country to campaign for Democratic gubernatorial candidates this fall.
“At the moment, I have no plans to campaign anywhere, but that doesn’t mean that I won’t in the next 45 days or so,” he said following a press conference in New Brunswick.
The governor added that, at least in his current role as DGA vice chairman, the best thing he can be doing is making sure Democrats in competitive gubernatorial races have the funds they need to win.
“The most important role the DGA can play is deploying resources, and we do that and we do it aggressively,” he said.
Since Murphy won re-election last year, he’s steadily cast himself as a nationally relevant political figure. In July, he became the first-ever New Jersey governor to chair the National Governors Association, and he’s also made a point to repeatedly direct criticism at Republican governors like Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott who don’t share his liberal vision for America.
In recent weeks, DeSantis has ignited controversy over his transport of asylum-seeking migrants to Democratic cities and states, something Murphy called “reprehensible” – though he also noted New Jersey was prepared to welcome any migrants DeSantis might send the state’s way.
“Yes, we absolutely are prepared,” he said. “We will treat these people as human beings, not like political pawns, which is the way they’re being treated in Florida and Texas right now… If people showed up in New Jersey right now, we have jobs for them.”