Stumping with Murphy in Newark, Obama Says ‘We Are Rejecting a Politics of Fear’

Obama, Oliver and Murphy

Barack Obama came. He saw.

He approved.

But come Nov. 7th, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Phil Murphy must conquer.

“How cool is this, folks, huh?” Murphy asked at the Robert Treat in Newark as he bounded onstage next to the former United States President. In his first public appearance on the campaign trail since leaving the presidency last year, Obama joined his former Ambassador to Germany and a host of Democratic Party insiders as Murphy tries to put away Republican gubernatorial candidate Kim Guadagno.

The event naturally took on a national glow as Obama spoke against the backdrop of his Republican successor’s efforts to expunge the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Laughing off chants of “four more years” in a state where he was always popular, in a city where he is beloved, the former Democratic President predictably took a dig at Trump’s governance of the country.

“Some of the politics we see now, we thought we put that to bed,” Obama said. “This is the 21st Century,


not the 19th Century.”

A day after Murphy participated in his second and final debate with Guadagno, and on the same week that an Fairleigh Dickinson University Poll put him 15 points ahead of his Republican rival in the New Jersey governor’s race, one of two governor’s races in the country this year, Obama said, “All of us have a responsibility to make our democracy work. You cannot complain if you didn’t vote. We are rejecting a politics of fear.”

Murphy’s candidate for lieutenant governor, Assemblywoman Sheila Oliver (D-34), joined Obama and Murphy onstage.

While Obama trashed Trump, Murphy reminded his supporters to reject more Gov. Chris Christie in the form of Guadagno.

“Four more years of us versus them,” Murphy said at the podium.

Seen in the room: U.S. Rep. Donald Norcross (D-1), Essex County Executive Joe DiVincenzo and his chief of staff Phil Alagia, Essex County Clerk Chris Durkin, Assemblyman (and candidate for Speaker) Craig Coughlin (D-19), Assemblywoman Eliana Pintor Marin (D-29), Murphy Campaign Manager (and Essex Freeholder) Brendan Gill, Somerset County Democratic Committee Chair Peg Schaffer, and Essex County Freeholder Len Luciano.

Essex County Democratic Committee Chairman Leroy Jones was in the packed and enthusiastically supportive room.

So was Assemblywoman Cleopatra Tucker (D-28).

So was Carpenters Chief John Ballantyne.

Newark Mayor Ras Baraka gave a well-received stem-winder.

It got the Brick City crowd going as much as any other single statement.

“New Jersey is coming back,” the mayor exclaimed. A vote for Phil Murphy is a vote against Donald Trump, Baraka said.

Obama and Murphy
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