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The Rutgers Scarlet Knights v. Michigan Wolverines was not the only rivalry on display tonight, as Governor Phil Murphy encountered former Governor Chris Christie at the Rutgers home basketball game.
Notoriously antagonistic, with each routinely blaming the other for the state’s troubles, the pair of rivals appeared in friendly proximity, belying bad blood from past collisions.
A cross-the-aisle ally of South Jersey Democratic Power Broker George Norcross III and state Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3), Christie regularly bashes his successor.
Bemoaning Murphy’s investigations into the tax incentive program that benefits Norcross’ business interests, which the former Republican signed off on, Christie last year said, “It’s political theater by a guy who understands theater and who needs a show to distract from the fact that the major things he ran on he simply hasn’t accomplished even though he has a Legislature of his own party.”
The theater reference was apparently a jab at Murphy’s university club days.
Murphy routinely blames Christie.
His predecessor, Murphy said last year, “basically ruined the state.”
In their appearance tonight courtside for the Rutgers-Michigan game, the pair of supposed alpha males looked amiable and comfortable.
They sat four seats removed.
Former First Lady Mary Pat Christie and First Lady Tammy Murphy were also present, as were Middlesex County Freeholder Ron Rios and Metuchen Mayor Jonathan Busch.