Murphy on Ciattarelli and Steinhardt: ‘Guys I know’

Phil Murphy

Politics may be an around-the-clock endeavor, but there are still boundaries.

At the end of a week when there was some jockeying among Republican gubernatorial candidates, Phil Murphy was asked today what he thought of the emerging GOP field.

He punted.

“There will be a time for politics, a time for robust debate,” Murphy said. “But that time is not now.”

The governor did say, “these are both guys I know,” referring to Republicans Jack Ciattarelli and Doug Steinhardt.

Ciattarelli has been in the race for almost a year; Steinhardt got in this week. Also this week, Jon Bramnick, the Assembly Minority Leader, said he would not run. Also in the race is Hirsch Singh.

When the time is right, Murphy said he wants the campaign to be about where we’ve been, but more importantly, where we are going.

Murphy has signed many executive orders since the pandemic began, some of which have been related to elections.

He said he would not stop issuing needed executive orders if they’re good for the state as a whole.

But he added, “If it directly impacts me, I will not go near that.”

Murphy began today’s briefing highlighting “knucklehead behavior.” He said 10 bars and restaurants face license suspensions ranging from 10 to 115 days for violating pandemic regulations. In general, these regulations limit capacity, require social distancing, mask wearing when applicable and mandate a 10 p.m. closing time for indoor service.

The governor pointed out something that can get overlooked in the ongoing debate about lockdowns. – those violating the law have an unfair advantage over those who abide by it.

Murphy encouraged residents to reward the good actors by going out and having a “great meal.”

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