Murphy Slams Christie Following Criticism

Although he gets along nicely with President Trump, the same can hardly be said about New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy’s relationship with his predecessor.

Speaking during Wednesday’s coronavirus press conference, Murphy was asked about recent comments made by Christie in which the former Governor criticized him for not doing enough to help the thousands of small businesses who are suffering due to the COVID-19 restrictions.

Speaking earlier this week about a non-profit which the former Republican Governor and his wife set up to provide small businesses with forgivable loans, Christie said more money could have been allocated to the state’s Economic Development Authority (EDA).

“It’s a policy decision that was made, but you could have shared the sacrifice a little bit more and put more money into the EDA and got those loan programs to be much more robust,” he said. “These are all decisions. These don’t happen by accident, … believe me, I sat in that job for eight years.”

Given a chance to respond to the criticism, Murphy didn’t hold back.

“Give me a break,” Murphy scoffed. “Come on, man, particularly given the train wreck that the EDA was under his leadership, and all for the benefit of special interests at the expense of small businesses,” he continued. “I don’t know whether to the laugh or to cry but he’s invoking the EDA, as I understand it in his comments, which was a piggy bank for special interests under his leadership. Big companies at the absolute expense of small companies.”

Murphy was referring to the findings of his task force, which he created to investigate the EDA, which found that hundreds of millions of dollars in tax breaks intended to encourage companies to remain in New Jersey, instead went to ones that never really were planning on leaving.

Defending the actions of the EDA during the health crisis, Murphy said Wednesday the agency had already committed $100 million to help more than 20,000 small businesses.

But despite the criticism, Murphy managed a compliment as well.

“I applaud the effort that he and Mary Pat are making toward small businesses so we shouldn’t take away from that,” Murphy said. “But you know what, I wish he had stopped there, frankly.”

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