Donald Trump has not endorsed Jack Ciattarelli for governor in New Jersey. Political analysts predict Trump will not make an endorsement at all in the important 2021 election battle between Democrat Phil Murphy and establishment Republican candidate Jack Ciattarelli.
Ciattarelli and his campaign insiders have never been fans of Trump. Ciattarelli called Trump a “Charlatan who was unfit to be President” and even said the former President was an embarrassment to America.
Now, he has received the endorsement of another on-again-off-again Trump critic, former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley. Haley broke from the Trump camp after the January 6th breach of the U.S. Capitol building by thousands of supporters of the former President.
“We need to acknowledge he let us down. He went down a path he shouldn’t have, and we shouldn’t have followed him, and we shouldn’t have listened to him. And we can’t let that ever happen again,” Haley said of Trump in an interview with Politico. “He’s not going to run for federal office again. … I don’t think he’s going to be in the picture. I don’t think he can. He’s fallen so far.”
“Republicans have won 6 out of 10 of the last governor’s races in New Jersey. A Democrat incumbent hasn’t been re-elected governor in the past 40 years,” Haley said. “Jack Ciattarelli can win his election for governor in November, but he needs our help. I’m proud to endorse Jack to fix what Phil Murphy has broken. A Main Street business owner, Jack understands the importance of lowering taxes, getting New Jersey working again, and standing with law enforcement officers to keep communities safe.”
It’s not just Democrats and Phil Murphy that Ciattarelli needs to worry about. His campaign is plagued by several fundamental flaws beyond his anti-Trump rhetoric.
Ciattarelli is trying to corral all the 51% of Republican voters who did not vote for him in the June 8th primary. This week, he hosted a party unification meeting, but that meeting went south after the candidate had words with highly respected member of the New Jersey conservative Republican movement.
Many former supporters of his opponents Hirsh Singh and Phil Rizzo have not been quick to come back to the fold to publicly support Ciattarelli after Jack and his campaign consultant, Chris Russell further fractured the New Jersey Republican party with one of the dirtiest and personally insulting political primary campaigns in New Jersey GOP primary history.
Russell and Ciattarelli launched a $4 million taxpayer-funded carpet bombing against both Singh and Rizzo, full of mistruths, truth-stretching and even personal attacks against both men in a win at all cost assault. Many of Rizzo’s and Singh’s supporters are not jumping on the Jack train and neither former candidate has asked his followers yet to get behind Jack.
Another problem with Ciatterelli is that he has little name recognition beyond the inside-baseball political crowd in New Jersey. He was a virtual political nobody before running for office, known only for his liberal-leaning votes while a member of the New Jersey Assembly. Ciattarelli voted with Democrats most of the time while in office and the two times he broke with Democrats was to turn down financial assistance to the Jersey Shore in the Superstorm Sandy aftermath, then again to deny foreclosure protection to homeowners who lost everything in the disaster.