Debate Wins and Losses: Murphy Versus Ciattarelli


No, it wasn’t a baseball game, although Jack Ciattarelli did make a crack about Phil Murphy rooting for the Red Sox.

Still, in the sporting tradition, let’s take a look at some of the wins and losses for each candidate in tonight’s debate.

A win for Murphy:

“You claim to be Mr. Law and Order. You have no endorsements from law enforcement.”

This was a hard right to Ciattarelli’s jaw.

A common Republican point these days is that Democrats support “defunding the police,” and therefore, are indifferent to public safety.

But as the governor noted, he’s been endorsed by two police unions and Ciattarelli has been endorsed by none.

Ciattarelli’s comeback was that “local police” are not endorsing Murphy. Fair point, but no police endorsements are no police endorsements.

This issue, however, also led to a loss for Murphy.

Reaching back to Ciattarelli’s days as a Somerset County freeholder, the governor said the Republican supported actions that led to the elimination of 10 jobs in the county sheriff’s office. There was no context offered, so unless you were there, you had no idea what this was about. Not persuasive at all.

A win for Ciattarelli:

“You never hear him talking about property taxes.”

The GOP challenger was right about that. Murphy has not talked about, or addressed, property taxes head on. Nothing about that is easy, but when people in New Jersey complain about high taxes, more times than not, their gripe is a property tax bill of $12,000 or more. The issue does deserve more attention.

Ciattarelli has spent a good part of the campaign – and has run ads – attacking Murphy for saying that if taxes are your main issue, New Jersey is not your state.

When those comments popped up tonight, Murphy tried to diffuse things by saying that under Ciattarelli, New Jersey won’t be a state for you unless you are a corporate CEO. Or something like that. His defense made no sense.

Call that another loss for Murphy.

Ciattarelli struggled at times to defend himself from Murphy’s attacks.

On that score, here are two losses for Ciattarelli.

Early in the debate, the Republican was asked about his comments that children are unlikely to catch COVID. This had to do with Ciattarelli’s opposition to a school mask mandate.

Apparently realizing this was an untenable position,  he said, “Maybe I could have said that more perfect.” Ouch.

And then there was Ciattarelli’s attendance at a Donald Trump-inspired “Stop the Steal” rally in Bedminster after the election.

Murphy has run TV commercials showing Ciattarelli speaking with a “Stop the Steal” sign behind him.

The Republican a bit lamely defended himself by saying he was told that the rally was about the 2021 election, not the 2020 election. Since it occurred three weeks after the 2020 vote and on Trump’s home turf, that explanation seemed a bit dubious.

Other observations.

It’s always nice to see humor in debates and Murphy tried to interject some.

Ciattarelli likes saying that such touchy subjects as explicit sex education should be addressed not in the classroom, but around the kitchen table.

That prompted Murphy to say there must be “a lot going on” in Ciattarelli’s kitchen.

Not amused, the challenger shot back, “Isn’t that the job of the parent?”

As the debate was winding down, Ciattarelli made some news.

It had to do with pot.

Voters endorsed legalizing recreational marijuana last year by about 2-1.

“This did not belong on the ballot,” Ciattarelli said, adding that he backs decriminalization, not legalization.

Murphy, a bit surprised, pointed out the margin of victory for legalization.

“I think they have buyer’s remorse,” Ciattarelli speculated.

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33 responses to “Debate Wins and Losses: Murphy Versus Ciattarelli”

    Fred Snowflack, I might think that you ‘walk on water’ for writing
    informative, interesting, balanced columns for InsiderNJ readers,
    BUT……… you are wrong when you state that property taxes
    are a loss for Governor Murphy.
    For decades, literally decades, I have heard candidates state that
    they will lower my real estate taxes and eliminate bloat In state government.
    At age 90, I am still waiting and just tune out to that kind of rhetoric.

    ALSO……Property taxes are high, but we receive quality services
    for our tax money. We are fortunate to have excellent schools, outstanding
    libraries, great police and fire departments, wonderful parks, good
    healthcare, and the list goes on and on.
    As the saying goes….. YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR!

    • You’re 90 years old and I don’t think you live in NJ. You live in fantasy land. The fact that most seniors can afford to live here with their house paid off is appalling. This guy just keeps raising taxes. Gas tax! Rain tax! More property taxes!!! Doesn’t want to tell you that to make your house go green is going to cost you about 50k.

      When is enough, enough?

      • If you, Sir, for one second, think that Jack Ciattarelli is going to
        lower real estate taxes, you are indeed living in a fantasy land along
        with me. I have heard that decade after decade and have yet to
        see my property taxes lowered.

        • He told you how he was going to do it too. He didn’t just say it. Let’s gets nuts here and say he didn’t. But he removed the rain tax, gas tax, and funded public schools properly I’d say that’s a pretty big win.

          Under Murphy’s law he will be raising property taxes at what point is enough, enough?

          We went to war with Britain for a lot less.

          When you’re house HAS to go green. That will cost 30-50k how do you think that’s going to get paid?

          This guy isn’t going to be happy until he has seniors living off cat food.

          He had 4 years and has done nothing. NOTHING. Not even an original thought.

          He follows the other governors lead. (Cuomo) you’re better than that. Don’t be duped.

        • So, you’re logic is to vote for the guy who is going to raise your property taxes???? And add new taxes?? What a scholar!!!

        • He has nowhere near a25point lead and it’s almost scary that you vote for a party rather than an actual message. The Governor has done nothing for you and has no accomplishments in 4 years. That’s a fact.

          Accomplishments aren’t coming up with a gas tax and a rain tax or raising your property taxes or forcing you to make a 50k green Investment on your home.

  2. I carefully viewed the debate last evening, it was no evident that Catarelli failed to respond to many of the questions from the moderators and went off on his own with the obvious attempt to evade responses that he knew he would not prevail on.

    And for the record, the Governor does have endorsements from law enforcement and many, many of the labor unions in the state.

    I am working 24/7 for the re election of our Governor Murphy!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Bob Knapp, Jersey City

  3. Wow, Republican politicians really do resent the voting public. What an obnoxious know-nothing this Ciattarelli is. The voters of New Jersey, during a Presidential election (so turnout was high and representative of the state), decided by a 2 to 1 margin to legalize marijuana, yet he thinks we’re too stupid to make that decision. It “didn’t belong on the ballot.” Or, in other words, regular people are morons who should be lorded over by political hacks. Murphy may be rich (something I don’t like), but Ciattarelli is the one that’s out-of-touch.

    • Murphy has left low level marijuana offenders in jail. It’s you living under a rock.

      How many more taxes would you like? Gas tax? Rain tax? Higher property taxes? Maybe stay off the marijuana you sound like a lazy putz.

        • He has not let marijuana offenders out of jail. He expunged records of people who have already served time.

          The Governor doesn’t keep you safe from covid. That’s what a vaccine does. That vaccine was developed under the Trump administration.

          Fascist ? You mean like making people take a vaccine they don’t need or want.

          Like saying kids need the vaccine yet 85% of the deaths are people over 65 or people in poor health or obese?

          Like firing doctors or medical professionals after they’ve been treating patients for a year without a vaccine.

          It’s you who is the fascist

  4. I went into this open minded, and I left still unsure of who gets my vote. I didn’t know much about Jack, and I tuned in to see who he was, how he communicates, etc. I didn’t hear a lot of facts backing up what he said – it did seem like there were a lot of questions and there wasn’t enough time to get deeply into topics. But, I really wanted to hear was each person’s take on the issue and their solution, and I didn’t get that. For instance, when Jack talked about diversity in the police force, rather than just saying he would look at statistics, I would have been interested in what statistics he knows, his take on that, and how he might address anything that he felt needed to be improved. Another thing discussed was what kids are learning in schools – I thought he was a little flippant with his response, and if he had instead said, “Look, we are going to address sex ed from a strictly reproductive standpoint at grade 6” – that would have been fine with me, and told me what he did intend to do – again, not just rhetoric, but a plan for what he considers improvement. Murphy – we know enough about him, because he’s been doing the job. Not a very helpful debate for me – I’m still squarely in the middle.

    • Maybe you missed part of it. He wanted to bring back and add to the curriculum courses like civics for starters and courses that apply to the real world. He had 60 seconds. Sheesh.

      I’m not sure how you could support this no accomplishment Governor.

      He’s responsible for tens of thousands leaving the state.

      He’s responsible for nursing home deaths.

      1/3 of small businesses are gone thanks to our wonderful governor.

      He’s done nothing he said he would and takes no accountability.

      Everything is someone else’s fault.

      This is baffling to me how anyone can think this guy is productive or efficient.

      His green initiative is going to cost YOU 30-50k

    • Who wants a Governor (Ciattarelli) who—
      Attacks Public Schools?
      Attacks LGBTQ Community?
      Supports tRump’s crazy theory and attends A Stop the Steal Rally?
      Not Me and NOT New Jersey!
      -Small businesses
      -A Greener NJ
      -Johnson reported: “When Phil Murphy ran for governor four years ago, he promised bold changes in energy policy. By and large he delivered, overseeing a dramatic shift in policies as significant as in any other area of state government in recent years. In four years of his first term, revived a dormant offshore wind program.”Where Former Gov. Chris Christie and legislators repeatedly siphoned off more than $1 billion from a special fund supported by a surcharge on customers’ utility bills.
      Ciatarelli was in the Assembly under Christie, who by the way isn’t endorsing him.
      I want a Governor who also has multiple endorsements from police unions…

      and who will continue to lead New Jersey in a POSITIVE direction.

      According to Fred Snow Flack’s article in Insider NJ, Today Governor Murphy unveiled what he called a “Return and Earn program.”
      It aims to encourage both workers and employers.
      The program would give workers a $500 bonus for returning to work.
      And it would offer $10,000 in wage subsidies to businesses that hire and train new workers.
      Governor Murphy said he hopes to accelerate the “back to work” process and also match employees with available jobs.

      Gov Murphy was rated a 77% Approval rating by his handling of the Pandemic (Republicans and Democrats were polled)
      Some Ciattarelli people are bringing up chris chrisie-Please a Vote for Ciattarelli is a Vote for 4 years of another Christie administration —
      Here i s a reminder of that:

      Christie left Office with a 17% approval rating CHRIS CHRISTIE WAS THE WORST Governor IN NJ History, and JACK CITARELLI will be too. Citarelli has no message, no plans-only lies and negative attacks on his opponent.
      this comment below of mine went viral and received over 2,000 likes in one weekend by Republican, Democrats and independents on Facebook.
      The Asbury Park Press article states, “Mary Pat Christie, a former investment banker, had created and ran a relief fund after Superstorm Sandy. “ 🤣Ironically 🤣Christie Allegedly Diverted Millions In Hurricane Sandy Relief Funds To Pay For TV Ads Starring Himself and his family for his re-election campaign. 
      How Ironic this statement is:
      “I really enjoy that stuff and feel like we’ve contributed a lot over time,” Chris Christie said in an interview. “And as I’m watching things develop here, I had to figure out ways that I could help. So this is the idea that we came up with, ultimately, and I think it’s a good one.” 
      Hey Christie Here’s an idea:
      Payback the $40,000,000 of our Money that you spent on your $500 per hour lawyer fees to hire your friends law firm.
      They should go after Christie again and bring him up on New charges. Or at least make him reimburse the taxpayers of the NJ $40 Million Dollars he spent on lawyer fees.
      The Bridgegate Scandal cost you and me over $40 million. (The Law Firm he chose was $500 an hour.)
      He should have used this money for our State’s Transportation Trust Fund that ran dry. He should have been fixing roadways and bridges not shutting it down out of spite because the Fort Lee Mayor wouldn’t endorse him. No, instead, we had to pay over $40 million dollars for the liar’s defense.
      This is the same creep that just said:
      Chris Christie Says U.S. Needs to Reopen and Accept More Deaths
      So Christie are you Volunteering you and your family first?
      So…Brave one? Why don’t you volunteer to hold devices so people dying alone in hospitals can say goodbye virtually to their Loved ones. 
      Oh yea and he stole $2.4 MILLION dollars from NJ pension funds which he promised to pay back as part of a 2011 pension reform deal.
      Then on Dec 10, 2014 the Trustees of New Jersey’s largest pension funds filed a lawsuit because of course he NEVER repaid the money to the pension. 
      In 2015, a state judge ruled that Gov. Christie BROKE A LAW that he signed by cutting $1.57 BILLION from a promised payment from the pension system for public employees & he was told he must now work with state lawmakers to restore the money.
      Judge: Gov. Chris Christie broke N.J. law by not paying full union pensions
      Chris Christie spent $82,594 (courtesy of NJ taxpayers) on concessions at Jets and Giants games in one season. 
      New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said he would not reimburse taxpayers for security details on out-of-state trips, even when he’s traveled for purely political reasons on his own presidential campaign and then while he was traveling around with Donald Trump on his campaign.
      In all, travel costs incurred by the New Jersey State Police unit that’s charged with protecting the governor at all times have totaled $1.57 million when he took office in 2010, according to investigative reporter Mark Lagerkvist, a contributor to NJ Spotlight. That included $1.33 million in charges on an American Express card for unspecified expenses, Lagerkvist reported.
      Then A total of $494,420 in travel costs were incurred in 2014, when Christie was the leader of the Republican Governors Association. Through the first nine months of 2015, when Christie launched his presidential campaign, travel expenses totaled $419,771, Lagerkvist reported. 
      And when pressed by a reporter on the specific issue of taxpayers funding his security costs when he does leave the state for a Trump campaign event, Christie said he had, “no choice in the matter.”
      “You want to change that, run for office and change that,” Christie said.
      Other Republican governors have faced similar questions about their own political travel, including Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who reimbursed taxpayers for security costs racked up on the presidential campaign trail . 
      We have a Governor now who doesn’t rip off our tax dollars like Christie did. He bragged about it. Christie said, “You have to squeeze the orange for all you can get. “ The Trenton bully ripped us off for millions. You people elected him twice. Nice job. 17 percent approval rating in his last year.
      Jack Citarelli is just more garbage, MORE LIES that will ruin our state like Chris Christie did.
      Remember this and on On Nov 2

    • Boy, the way Glenn Miller played
      songs that made the hit parade
      Paralysis and death from polio in its most severe forms
      Those were the days

    • GOOD! You should be happy! You like Russia controlling our leaders like the way Vlad controlled TRUMP the fascist thieving disaster!

      • Vlad controlled Trump? LOL. Please make sure to where your tinfoil hat when walking around.

        Make sure to thank Biden for selling half the country to China.

  5. For two gubernatorial debates, flood the zone with horse race coverage. For the next several decades, flood the state if a candidate with no apparent interest in climate action is elected.

    • Comment’s been up for a while and from no one: “Is the candidate with no apparent interest in climate action Murphy or Ciattarelli? If you mean
      Ciattarelli, how’s why you’re wrong about him.”

  6. Like to hear how small businesses were destroyed by the Murphy administration by keeping them closed for too long during covid. About one-third. NJ needs high paying quality employers, not socialism and killer taxation.

  7. In both debates Ciatarelli did not respond to the questions asked by the moderators and would use the time allotted to respond to further his critical comments of Murphy.

    The crowd last night, October 12th in the audience in favor of Ciatarelli were rude, interfering with the debate and Ciatarelli did nothing to quell the savages.

    I am working 24/7 until the polls close on November 2nd for our great Governor Phil Murphy!!

    Bob Knapp

    • You’re kidding right? Murphy side stepped and stuttered through every question. Name 4 things this administration has done in 4 years?

      Raising taxes
      Shutting businesses
      Taking away your right to choose
      No charter schools in inner cities.

      These are not accomplishments

      The guy has legal marijuana and gambling and entertaining and still can’t reduce taxes.

      What a joke!!!

    • Yeah, jack should’ve ran into the crowd and taped their mouths shut. SMH you’re a delusional clown.

      Not sure what you think is great ? Higher property taxes?

      The guy has no accomplishments in 4 years except fir killing 8500 seniors. Looking at this thread he missed a couple that probably should’ve gone.

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