“Apparently Phil’s opponent says he didn’t know it was a rally to overturn the results of the last election,” Obama said, “He didn’t know it? Come on. When you’re standing in front of a sign that says ‘Stop the Steal’ and there’s a guy in the crowd waving a confederate flag, you know this isn’t a neighborhood barbecue. You know it’s not a league of women voters rally. Come on. Come on, man. That’s not what New Jersey needs.”
Ciattarelli acknowledged in a gubernatorial debate he attended a late November 2020 pro-Trump rally in Bedminster, New Jersey, home to the ex-President’s golf club. But he said he did not see offensive signs, he believes Joe Biden is the legitimate President, and former President Donald Trump’s rhetoric was responsible for the riot on January 6.
“Democracy is not supposed to work where if you lose, you just ignore it and pretend it didn’t happen, and our democracy is what makes America great,” Obama said in an echo of Trump’s slogan.
The former president said he understood people are weary from the Covid-19 pandemic, but said, the country is at a turning point right now and asked voters in New Jersey to reject the “politics of meanness.”
“That’s the path to ruin,” he said. “The good news is, there’s another path.”
Murphy, noting Democrats’ advantage in the state, told the Newark crowd, “Our team shows up, we win.” Otherwise, he said the race would likely be a tossup.