TRENTON, NJ – Phil Murphy responded to Republicans calling him out for violating his own recommendations of indoor mask-wearing, calling them desperate.
When asked what his reaction to those attacks were, Murphy said, ” My reaction to that is they’re desperate. That’s my reaction. On the first one, I wasn’t flustered at all. I thought it was striking. There was a lot of emotion in that hall. I said last night, you may have heard me, a debate broke out at a hockey game.”
Murphy also criticized boisterous members of the public in attendance at his last debate against his opponent Jack Ciattarelli. Murphy was visually shaken and upset over the boos, chants, and jeers against his platform. He claims he wasn’t flustered.
“It was a highly charged environment. No, I wasn’t flustered at all, but I’ll tell you what was a bummer is there were probably two or three questions left on the table that didn’t get asked because of the amount of time that people were protesting and yelling stuff,” Murphy said. “That, to me, is a disservice to the voters. I’m not sure I’m hell yes or hell no about whether or not you go into a studio, but there’s no question in that hour – I’m just guessing at this. I’ll bet you it’s at least two or three questions that didn’t get asked, but it wasn’t a question of flustered.”
Murphy said Republicans in the audience prevented the debate moderators from asking more questions.
” I’m a sports fan. I have no problem being in that arena, but we wanted to make sure that everybody got as much out of it as possible. I think we left a couple of questions on the table,” he added.
When asked about his maskless adventures in Monmouth County, Murphy said it’s a ridiculous notion.
“This stuff about masking, I mean, it’s ridiculous. This is our 227th briefing. Most of them – I wish we were live because you see us all walk in with our masks. We take our masks off to speak,” he said. “When we’re done, we put our masks back on. What we’ve said is we don’t think you need to wear a mask outside, but if you’re inside and you’re uncertain of the vaccination status of the folks inside and you’re packed in, especially, you should be wearing a mask.”
Murphy said at the two indoor events in the ‘high risk’ county of Monmouth, he was able to roam maskless with others because everyone in attendance was either vaccinated or had to show proof of vaccination, even though the CDC recommends both fully vaccinated and unvaccinated wear masks indoors at large gatherings.
Anyone who argues that point is desperate, the governor said.
“Two things – sorry, third thing, that event, I’m told, was requirement vaccinated or proof of a negative test, come on, here. This was desperation. I was on stage speaking, not really near anybody,” he said. “I took a picture with one of my closest friends, David Mixner, who’s as vaccinated as any American, and so am I. I mean, come on, man. Let’s focus on the stuff that matters and not the political stuff.”