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

Murphy wary of political rallies, but growing more comfortable with door-knocking

Trump to resume rallies in next two weeks

By Nikita Biryukov, June 09 2020 3:21 pm

Though he announced increases to gathering limits Tuesday, Gov. Phil Murphy isn’t ready to endorse the return of political rallies, but he’s less wary of door-knocking than he was earlier in the COVID-19 crisis.

“We’re lifting some limits today, and I used the word ‘responsible.’ So let’s make sure that when we do choose to gather, that we’re A, personally being responsible but also the raison d’etre, the reason you’re there, is a responsible one,” Murphy said when asked if President Donald Trump would risk a citation for violating an executive order if he held a rally in the state.

Trump’s re-election campaign on Monday announced the president would resume holding political rallies within the next two weeks.

The governor declined to comment directly on any possible Trump rallies in New Jersey.

Murphy on Tuesday lifted gathering size restrictions on protests and religious services, but a political rally, especially one held indoors, would likely run afoul of the governor’s executive orders, even if further anticipated increases to gathering limits slated for later this month and early July go off without incident.

But the governor is less concerned about other types of politicking returning to the Garden State.

“You asked me several weeks if not months ago how do I feel about door-to-door campaigning. I’m still a little skittish about it, frankly, but I think we’ve got more latitude now than we did a couple of months ago, clearly,” Murphy said, adding that “I still think we have to be careful.”

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