Tammy Murphy Dismisses Concern of her GOP Backstory: “I have a lot of friends in the LGBTQIA+ community”

Tammy Murphy v. Andy Kim is the US Senate race the world is watching and scrutinizing. The two squared off last weekend and Kim romped. The press briefing afterwards didn’t go great for Mrs. Murphy.

Congressman Andy Kim and New Jersey First Lady Tammy Murphy, the leading candidates to replace disgraced Senator Bob Menendez, were in Burlington County on Sunday seeking the county Democratic Committee’s endorsement.

Kim triumphed handily.

I attend the BurlCo event and experienced firsthand a pattern I’ve noticed since Tammy Murphy began her campaign.

With a jarring frequency, Mrs. Murphy most answers questions from the press (and from voters) with something like this: “what I would say to you is this…” She then proceeds to change the subject to a canned reply. This rhetorical strategy almost always includes some version of:

  • “I didn’t leave the Republican Party, the party left me.”
  • “I’ve worked hard to build the NJ Democratic Party these past 8 years.”

As for which version the Republican Party Mrs. Murphy was okay with, she won’t say. Murphy also won’t acknowledge her generosity during her decades-long allegiance to the Republican Party. Murphy voted twice for George W. Bush and gave over $100,000 to Republicans before switching parties less than 10 years ago.

At a press briefing following her lopsided loss, it was more of the same: deflection and canned bromides from Tammy Murphy.

Mrs. Murphy, who’s married to New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, began the press briefing by rejecting charges of nepotism.

She called it “crazy” to suggest nepotism might be supercharging her campaign.

(If you’d rather watch or listen, the audio clip is here. Click here for video.)

Tammy Murphy: “No one else is doing this for me. And besides that, I would say to you, my husband has been my partner for over 30 years. he knows me better than anybody else so I’m not asking him — he’s probably doing less than he would be able to do if he were a normal spouse. So the whole nepotism thing is crazy to me, look at my experience, look at my history–“

Jay Lassiter: “Most of your history is Republican. You helped get Sam Alito appointed to the Supreme Court. How are gay people supposed to like ever forgive you for that?”

TM: “Uhhh, what I would say to you is the following: many people are leaving the Republican Party here and now. I will tell you I took the same values since day 1. Absolutely same values.”

JL: “So then you certainly must regret the role you played putting Sam Alito on the Supreme Court and overturning Roe v Wade?”

TM: “I would just say this: I still do the same values forever, I will stand for the same values…you’re shaking your head at me, it’s really crazy….”

JL: “It’s painful to contemplate the roll you played setting my people back by a generation and now you’re sitting here telling me how I should feel, that’s weird and that’s why I shook my head, Mrs. Murphy.”

TM: “I’m not telling you how to feel, I’m just telling you, I can’t even answer so let me just say this: Babs Siperstein was one of my dearest friends. I have a lot of friends in the LGBTQIA+ community. I will stand with that community, and any marginalized community, every day of the week, every day of the week. So I would say something else, let me just talk about being a Republican. I grew up in a moderate conservative house. We were not politically engaged. It’s only over the course of my life where I have always been working on the same value statements . And I’ve looked for people who could represent and prioritize those values—

JL: “George W. Bush??”

TM: “And over time, I found that I had, there was no one left, the party left me. But furthermore, I have been building the (Democratic) party and a lot of the things that have happened here in NJ have happened because I helped strengthen the (Democratic) party.”

JL: “A lot of the things that are happening in half of America where women can’t get a abortion are happening because of you too, Mrs. Murphy. And I guess what I’m trying to reconcile as a Democratic primary voter is how am I supposed to….you say (nepotism and your GOP background) it’s irrelevant and I actually think it’s very relevant and that’s probably why you’re not getting traction.”

TM: “I disagree with you on the traction piece, I really do.”

JL: “You’re certainly getting traction with the gatekeepers, I’ll give you that much.”

And with that, Murphy’s press person finally stepped in, something I was surprised didn’t happen sooner.

My first thought afterwards was if Tammy Murphy makes it to the US Senate, loathsome guys like Ted Cruz are going to eat her alive.

Secondly, regarding the “lots of LGBTQ+ friends” remark yes, she went there. The comment didn’t register in real time but sounded worse and worse every time I listened afterwards.

I’m an Andy Kim supporter. I know my own biases are at play here so I shared the clip with others. And I’m not the only LGBT person upset about Murphy’s “lots of LGBTQ+ friends” line, something several people called Trumpy.

One friend, a mother of a gay high schooler, called Mrs. Murphy’s comments “100% disqualifying.”

Marsha Shapiro and Louise Walpin were the lead couple in NJ’s legislative battle for marriage equality from 2009-2013 and one of the lead plaintiffs in the court case that won gay marriage for New Jersey in Oct 2013.

If New Jersey had a gay Mt. Rushmore, as first same-sex couple in NJ history to wed, Marsha and Louise would be one it.

And they were not happy that Mrs. Murphy would namecheck a dearly departed activist sister to dodge a question about supporting George W. Bush in 2000 and again in 2004.

“We were enraged that Mrs. Murphy invoked Babs Siperstein’s name to avoid answering if she regretted her role in helping Alito to be appointed to SCOTUS,” the iconic duo told InsiderNJ.  “To add insult to injury, Mrs. Murphy made this statement at a time when Alito wants to chip away at the Obergefell ruling that same sex couples have a fundamental right to marry, which would have upset Babs greatly. This is particularly offensive to us as we were actually close friends with Babs in real life, not just as a political associate.”

According to Marsha Shapiro and Louise Walpin, lines like “some of my best friends are gay” suggest a lack of credibility.

“Social psychologists have said that statements such as this are an attempt to try to build moral credit when it is lacking,” Marsha and Louise added.

And for their part, Marsha Shapiro and Louise Walpin share the same concerns about Mrs. Murphy’s decades-long republican backstory as many democratic primary voters do.

“So, Mrs Murphy, can you please answer the question: do you regret having helped appoint Alito in 2005 , which is before, as you put it, the GOP party left you?”

Tammy Murphy probably won’t go there, but proper apology would be easy enough and might go something like this:

“I’m truly sorry for the pain I caused by helping Sam Alito into onto the Supreme Count. I deeply regret the consequences of those votes for George W Bush and I’ll spend the rest of my life undoing the damage I caused.”

If Tammy Murphy apologizes for supporting Bush and for the role she played putting Sam Alito on the Supreme Count, I’d probably be first to forgive her.

But I’m still voting for Andy Kim.


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9 responses to “Tammy Murphy Dismisses Concern of her GOP Backstory: “I have a lot of friends in the LGBTQIA+ community””

  1. She is running for the United States Senate as a ticked off mom. Shouldn’t that instead, be a ticked off birthing person? Because that is what we are told is correct – the other version is offensive.
    What is needed badly, is the best experienced candidate for the job.

  2. Thanks for sharing this vapid conversation. It’s painful to watch her and listen to her. Andy Kim’s volunteers would work on his behalf for that Senate seat no matter who he ran against because he is so qualified and is a true public servant. However, the chance that this woman could be our candidate is terrifying and certainly adds to the passion and enthusiasm of Andy’s supporters.

  3. If the Murphy’s ram Tammy into the Democratic nomination, I’m not voting. Period. And I know many others feel the same. Serves the dems right for anointing their candidates instead of letting the voters decide.

    As for Phil, shame on him that he’s using his power and influence to get the nomination for his wife. I had a lot of respect for him before this.

  4. Nepotism and corruption by Democrats constitutes the politics of New Jersey. Always has. Now we have a Massachusetts carpetbagger for Governor trying to get his wife anointed as U.S. Senator for New Jersey. Time for Republicans to step up and produce a qualified candidate who can knock the socks off the Democrat-Communists running for office. He/she would need to talk about reducing federal taxes, reducing property taxes, closing the border, stopping crime, asserting 2nd Amendment Rights so we can ALL protect ourselves against the illegal immigrant invasion, stopping escalation of wars created by the Biden Administration, etc.

    Enough of Democrat-Communists running (ruining) New Jersey. Time for a reversal and get back to normalcy instead of the mentally disordered Democrats running the show.

  5. Jim McGreevey and State Senator Ray Lesniak were major obstacles to marriage equality getting passed when they had the power to do this when Democrats gained full control over the legislature in 2003. They were not only forgiven, but eventually embraced by the LGBTQ community.

    Dick Codey and Steve Sweeney were also obstacles to marriage equality until they weren’t and were eventually forgiven and embraced.

    When Andy Kim was running for Congress for the first time in 2018, he claimed to support Medicare for All until he became the Democratic nominee and then began suffering from selective amnesia.

    As First Lady of New Jersey, Tammy Murphy led the New Jersey Pandemic Relief Fund and helped to make it possible for countless children and families to recover from worst impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Yes, Tammy Murphy used to be a Republican. In the 80s, I was a big fan of the Morton Downey Jr. show. People grow and learn over time.

    Our democracy is facing an existential threat in the form of Donald Trump and Trumpism. Republicans who recognize this and work against it should be embraced, not vilified.

    Democrats who take a position on a core progressive issue like Medicare for All and then forget about it when that position becomes inconvenient should never be trusted again.

    In general, I would always choose an honest moderate over a fake progressive. It is fortunate that I don’t have to make that choice, because Tammy Murphy has proven herself to be a true progressive.

  6. She was Republican until seven or eight years ago . We don’t even know if she voted for Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012. Seems like it would be really easy for her to clear that up, don’t you think?/

    Meanwhile… You’re over there wagging your finger in our faces about how was what’s “honest” while simultaneously pulling numbers out of your arse.

  7. We are facing an existential threat by the Democrat-Communist Party. It’s time to go after these Democrat oligarch frauds and remove each and every one from office. The Democrat-Communist Party is the Party of Death–e.g., abortion, allowing illegal border invasion exacerbating criminal activity such as murder, rape, kidnapping, violent assault of Americans, and murder of over 100,000 Americans through fentanyl poisoning coming across the border and manufactured by Communist China and Mexican cartels. The Party of Death hires soft-on-criminal prosecutors who release violent criminals back on to the streets within hours of arrest for assaults, murders and rapes. The Party of Death wants to defund and get rid of the police. Yet, the Party of Death wants to disarm Americans with tyrannical, draconian anti-gun, anti-Second Amendment laws (which is a felony violation of their constitutional oaths of office to uphold, support & defend the U.S. Constitution–which includes the 2nd Amendment).

    Stop voting for the Democrat-Communist “plantation owners” who give crumbs to the black and hispanic communities for their votes. The Democrat-Communists are no different today than they were as slave owners over 150 years ago.

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