TRENTON, NJ – New Jersey GOP candidate for Governor Jack Ciattarelli on Tuesday said he doesn’t need former President Donald J. Trump or his endorsement to beat incumbent Democrat Governor Phil Murphy. Ciattarelli might be right, but what he does need is the support of the still remaining vast majority of Republicans who staunchly support the former President.
Trump has not endorsed Jack Ciattarelli and after last night’s debate between Murphy and Ciattarelli, the Republican candidate said it’s alright with him. When asked about his flip-flopping on the Donald Trump topic, Ciattarelli said he did have harsh words, but chalked it up to politics.
“27 years of marriage, I want you to know Melinda’s called me worse than a charlatan a few times, um, and listen I remember the democratic presidential primary last year, Kamala Harris didna have all the many complimentary things to say about Joe Biden at times,” Ciattarelli said. “We know how politics can work.”
Ciattarelli said after Trump was elected, he wanted to see the former president be successful, despite calling him a charlatan who was unfit for the position. Ciattarelli has had a lukewarm, on-again, off-again relationship with Trump. He attended the President’s 2020 Wildwood rally and last year attended a pro-Trump “Stop the Steal” themed rally.
He’s also created distance between himself and Trump during that period, blaming him for the January 6th Capitol incursion and defying Trump’s claim that the 2020 election was stolen.
“Once he was elected, once he was elected I wanted him to be successful,” Ciattarelli said. “I think it’s un-American not to root for the president be successful and I feel the same way about Joe Biden. Donald Trump did have some success successes at the national, international, level.”
When asked point-blank, would you accept the former President’s endorsement, Ciattarelli rebuked the notion.
“If you watch my campaign really closely, I’m not into endorsements,” Ciattarelli responded. “I’m not into other people campaigning for me.”
Ciattarelli then took a jab at Murphy who has had a long line of a-list national Democrats stump for him including Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.
“People see right through those kinds of things,” he added. “I go out and greet the people in New Jersey every day of the week. I go out there and campaign on my own. I’ll win my own election.”