Sparring Partners: Govs. Murphy, Christie Trade Verbal Blows

Gov. Phil Murphy strongly dismissed criticism from his predecessor on the handling of the coronavirus pandemic in New Jersey.

Murphy responded at his July 22 press briefing to Chris Christie’s comments that the Murphy Administration prioritized public workers over the state’s small businesses in deciding how to dole out state resources in reaction to the pandemic.

“In the end, this has not been a shared sacrifice,” stated Christie. 

CWA Deal

The former governor was alluding to the deal the state struck with the Communication Workers of America, the largest union of state workers, postponing a 2% planned wage increase as well as furloughs structured around the federal government’s $600 weekly unemployment  supplement. 

The former two-term GOP governor believes the state should have provided more money to the Economic Development Authority (EDA) to offer relief to small businesses.

“It’s a policy decision that was made, but you could have shared the sacrifice a little bit more and put more money into the EDA and got those loan programs to be much more robust. These are all decisions,” said Christie. “These don’t happen by accident … believe me, I sat in that job for eight years.”

Fact Decisions

Murphy applauded the effort Christie and his wife Mary Pat are making toward small businesses, but noted “I wish he had stopped there, frankly.” 

“There’s no reason to inject any amount of politics into this. We have strived from day one to make the calls based on the science, on the data, on the facts. Let’s just keep it at that,” said Murphy. 

But the evoking of the EDA by Christie clearly got under Murphy’s skin.

EDA Piggy Bank

“Frankly, I don’t know whether to laugh or to cry that he’s invoking the EDA… which was a piggy bank for special interests under his leadership, big companies at the absolute expense of small companies,” the first term Democrtaic governor remarked.

“But come on given the train wreck that the EDA was under his leadership, all for the benefit of special interest, at the expense of small businesses, especially how public sector workers were crushed under him,” Murphy said, his voice rising. 

“Give me a break.”

$100 Million Commitment

The EDA has committed $100 million to help 20,000 small businesses during the pandemic, half already receiving money, according to the governor, who added “We are in there every single day doing everything we can for small businesses.”

Murphy took exception with the either/or ethos of helping business while at the same time striking a deal with state workers.

“I would also like to know why it’s one or the other, including who thinks that laying off middle-class workers, who are the very folks at the frontlines providing the services that our residents so desperately need,” said Murphy. 

“Where is it written, who thinks that laying them off somehow benefits New Jersey’s families? When in fact, the exact opposite is the case?”

Christie Cause

Christie has raised close to $800,000 in committed funding for New Jersey 30-Day Fund, a nonprofit that gives $3,000 forgivable loans to small businesses in New Jersey struggling to remain open amid the coronavirus pandemic. The fund has received more than 3,000 applications from small businesses since they launched the nonprofit last month.

Under the NJ 30-Day Fund, businesses need to be New Jersey-based, employ three to 30 people and have been in operation for at least a year to be eligible. The hope is the $3,000 would help businesses stay afloat for 30 days while they wait for other aid, including federal assistance.

9 comments

  1. Will someone point out to ex Governor Chris Christie when we want his thoughts or opinion on anything we will solicit it. Until then he should keep on working on his memoirs and book “How I destroyed a major East Coast State in just two Terms” Forward by Bridget Ann Kelly

    1. Good for Bridget Ann Kelly! Christie was disastrous for N.J. All Christie cared about was himself and his ambitions to become President of the U.S.A. Just remember Bridgegate, Beachgate, a failed run for President, and after endorsing trump, getting DUMPED by trump! Christie is unethical, lies a lot, kissed the wrong BUTT, and OMG, if he were the Governor of N.J. now, we would most likely be in Florida’s shape with this Virus.

  2. Please Chris Christie, you cannot win ever. So just go away and give others the chance. Our Governor is doing such a great job on this pandemic. So stop spinning what Governor Murphy is doing because you are a lost case for New Jersey. You cannot win in any election. Stop the bully. You already bullied us, the teachers and the media. So look at yourself and you need to move on. You have no more place in any politics.

  3. And Gov Christies prioritized his reelection interests above thousands of commuters. And Gov Christie used his status to go to the beach when he was unable to find agreement to keep the beaches open… And, And, And.

  4. Remember we had to vote twice in 3 weeks in October and November 2013? Christie owes the NJ Treasury the $12 million that it cost to have a one-item-only special Senate election (after Frank Lautenberg passed away) in October 2013 less than 3 weeks before the general election on November 5, 2013 when Christie was running for his second term against 6 opponents. We couldn’t vote for both in the general election because voter turnout would have been bigger than normal because of the Corey Booker fans who wanted him to be our new US senator. Christie was afraid his democrat opponents would get more votes than expected by the Corey Booker fans. Christie wanted high numbers for his second gubernatorial term to show the country how well he could do in a democrat state so he forced the polls to open just to vote for senator. Christie stole that money from us plus inconvenienced all of us by having to vote twice in 3 weeks. Brazen, shameful, and pathetic. So, Chris Christie, safe to say that whatever you have to say now in 2020 is completely meaningless.

  5. Christie you are a joke to new jersey politics so stay out of it and run your family that’s the best thing you can do for all concerned. Murphy is doing great your advice is not what New Jersey needs or wants.

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