Gov. Phil Murphy skipped President Donald Trump’s speech at the Republican National Convention Thursday night, but he may catch a rerun this weekend.
“I did not watch it, actually,” Murphy said. Our sons were playing in a championship soccer match, which unfortunately they lost in penalties, and between that and bad weather — but I’ve read some of the highlights, and if I got a chance this weekend, I’ll look at a tape of it, but I did not see it.”
In a meandering convention speech that ran for more than an hour, Trump most often took aim at former Vice President Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee.
“This election will decide if we save the American dream or whether we allow a socialist agenda to demolish our cherished destiny,” he said. “It will decide whether we rapidly create millions of high-paying jobs or whether we crush our industries and send millions of these jobs overseas, as has been foolishly done for many decades.”
The speech’s locale—it was delivered White House’s South Lawn as protestors massed outside—didn’t bother Murphy much.
“I said this the other day about the Hatch Act, and I think it’s less the case than with diplomats or other members of government, and the president, I think, has a certain amount of leeway and deserves it, but I think we’ve got to be very careful crossing wires between government and politics,” Murphy said “And that’s something I think we all have to be really careful of, and that includes all of us — me, the president and everybody else.”
The Hatch Act Is a longstanding federal law that bars executive branch employees from engaging in most types of political activity. The law explicitly creates exceptions for the president and vice president.
Earlier this week, Murphy criticized U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for giving a convention speech from Jerusalem, where he was on official State Department business. That speech, which may have violated federal law, has spawned a House Foreign Affairs Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee investigation.