EDISON – The two Irish guys with competing hard-luck background stories occupied the same stage this afternoon here at the Sheraton, towering together over a crowd of working men and women: former VP Joe Biden and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Phil Murphy happily working the same side of the line of scrimmage this side of Nov. 7th.
After delivering a well-received stem-winder in which he trashed Republican Kim Guadagno for trotting out a sanctuary cities ad, then threw a hard one at Gov. Chris Christie when he added, “I’m not going to the beach by myself we’re all going” – Murphy yielded to Biden.
“The guy to my right – on cue – ladies and gentlemen, there is no greater of mine and of our party, Murphy said. “He was known for a long time with great credence as New Jersey’s third senator. He is my hero, he is your hero, ladies and gentlemen, Joe Biden.”
Before launching into some nose-smacking reminiscences from his childhood, Biden immediately walked back the 2020 prez buzz, shouting back at the guys in the crowd who urged him to dethrone President Donald J. Trump.
“Let’s take care of ’17 first,” he said.
Then he talked up Murphy.
“He hasn’t forgotten where he came from,” Biden said. “He’s done it all, but again, he hasn’t forgotten where he came from.
“People know he’s authentic,” the VP added.
Biden lingered on the Goldman Sachs part of Murphy’s storyline – and talked it up as a plus.
Murphy, the former vice president said, won’t be intimidated, cowed or outthought by corporate bosses, he said.
“Corporations between 2003 and 2013 – they made 2.1 trillion,” Biden said. “That’s a good thing for America. But wait – 54% of it, they bought back their own stock… 9% for expansion for wages, research and development. That’s never happened before in America. This guy understands the complexity.”
One trillion 300 billion doesn’t get collected because of tax loopholes, Biden reminded the crowd.
Murphy’s rich, he gets it – but didn’t forget where he came from, he argued.
He lashed out at Christie.
“We gave your governor $3 billion to build a tunnel,” Biden said, going back to the scuttled ARC Tunnel. “Now what’s happening? We’ve got a crisis in transportation as well as safety. These guys don’t get it. All that money went to make sure the wealthiest got a tax cut. Guys, look, we need someone as smart as they are, who understands where they’re coming from, who can not only say the right thing, but do the right thing.”