Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on Monday night went after his Democratic successor, Phil Murphy, for jetting off to Italy for a vacation with his family as the state is facing the highest number of COVID-19 deaths in the nation per capita.
“The fact that we’re sitting here in Morris County, New Jersey, and he’s sitting in Italy should tell you a little bit how seriously the governor takes his job,” Christie told an audience of around 200 Republicans gathered for an annual golf outing at the Rockaway River Country Club in Denville, Insider NJ first reported.
“He’s sending a message in the midst of everything else going on in this state — a very interesting message for him to send,” he continued.
ICYMI: Christie Tees off on Murphy at Bucco Golf Outing – Insider NJ – https://t.co/05YphrZOby
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Christie, a Republican, pointed out the number of COVID-19 deaths in New Jersey per capita is the highest in the nation. The state reported 300 total deaths per 100,000 people, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The state’s death rate in 2020 was also its worst since World War II, according to WBXW. (RELATED: New Jersey Health Care System Fires Supervisors Who Refused COVID-19 Vaccine)
Christie also went after his Democratic successor for imposing lockdowns and other restrictions during the pandemic. New Jersey lost around 750,000 jobs at the onset of the pandemic as the unemployment rate soared to 15.3%, the Asbury Park Press reported.
The former governor noted an increase in drug overdoses and suicides that some have attributed to COVID-19 or the lockdown.
Christie called Murphy the “master of death” and said of his Italian excursion that he is a “Massachusetts liberal” who only cares about hobnobbing with his elite friends, Insider NJ reported.
Christie also urged Jack Ciattarelli, Murphy’s Republican opponent in this year’s upcoming gubernatorial race, to take advantage of the governor’s absence as an opportunity to convince voters that Murphy should not get a second term. In particular, he advised Ciattarelli to attack Murphy over his COVID-19 policies.
“He’s got plenty of material to work with, in my opinion,” Christie said of Ciattarelli, who was present at the outing.