Gov. Phil Murphy criticized both local and national Republicans ahead of their planned challenge of the Electoral College formal announcement in Congress on Jan. 6.
“The words I will use—shameful, dangerous, undemocratic and unpatriotic display—(describe) a number of Congressional Republicans who are openly and unabashedly working to undermine our constitutional norms,” said Murphy at a press briefing Jan. 4.
Murphy’s comments come as at least 11 Republican U.S. Senators and reportedly over 100 members of the House plan to vote to reject the Electoral College votes of some states as not “lawfully certified” as well as President Donald Trump’s recent attempts to have election officials in Georgia change the outcome for that state.
“There is no other word for it, and to overthrow a free and fair election decided by the American people, an American president sitting in the Oval Office, working the phones to subvert American democracy for his personal benefit…let that sink in for a minute,” stated Murphy.
Their objections, being promoted by President Trump in his effort to overturn his loss to President-elect Joe Biden by a 306-232 margin in the Electoral College as well as by 7 million votes in total, are due to unproven allegations the 2020 Presidential election was rife with voter fraud, violations and lax enforcement of election law, and other voting irregularities that affected the final outcome.
Members of Congress want actions taken in a range such as overturning the election to return President Trump to office as well as the appointment of a commission to conduct an emergency, 10-day audit of the election results.
But New Jersey’s governor was not having any of that.
“The voters have spoken. Our election officials have spoken. The courts have spoken and the Electoral College has spoken,” declared Murphy. “And yet, that seemingly isn’t enough for those willing to overturn an election because they just can’t accept that their guy lost decisively.”
Van Drew Scorn
Murphy said he was thankfully there are enough Republicans in Congress to prevent the “fever dreams of a small band of right-wing conspiracy theorists and their pathetic minions…from succeeding,” specifically citing Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Josh Hawley (R-MO) as well as Reps. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) and Mo Brooks (R-AL).
The first-term Democratic governor then focused his scorn on the recently re-elected Rep. Jeff Van Drew, the South Jersey congressman who switched to the Republican party in 2019 after being elected as a Democrat in 2018.
“It pains me in particular to see one of our own representatives, Congressman Jeff Van Drew, cynically siding with conspiracy theorists and throwing his fate in with the far right’s disproven and crackpot theories,” said Murphy. “If that’s the legacy Jeff wants, then I guess it is what it is.”
Praise for Whitman, Bramnick
The governor commend Republicans who have shown the courage of their convictions to say what’s right, singling out former Gov. Christine Todd Whitman and Assembly Republican Minority Leader Jon Bramnick (R-21) as “stellar examples.”
“The tiny number of senior New Jersey Republicans who have done the right thing by acknowledging the true outcome of the election is shocking,” he said. “I know there are many more who privately share their misgivings about the rabbit hole their colleagues are preparing to drag our nation and the Constitution down, and their silence is equal to acquiescence.”
“Shame on those who have not found any semblance of courage.”
Murphy said he hopes that the election would be verified after “a day of noise” with the constitution emerging intact.
“But we’ve lost something greater when simply acknowledging the will of the people after an election is considered courageous,” said Murphy. “This cowardly and reckless effort weakens our republic here at home, and undermines America’s efforts to promote democracy around the world.”