At gubernatorial debate, it’s Texas vs. California

At gubernatorial debate, it’s Texas vs. California

Phil Murphy and Jack Ciattarelli at the New Jersey Gubernatorial Debate in Newark on September 28, 2021. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for the New Jersey Globe). Gov. Phil Murphy and former Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli met today for the first of two gubernatorial debates, each man attempting to portray the other as radically out of step with New Jersey’s voters. According to Ciattarelli, Murphy wants to make the state the “California of the east,” replete with high taxes, big government, and rampant inequalities. According to Murphy, Ciattarelli might as well be running for governor of Texas with his support for relaxed firearm restrictions, lower Planned Parenthood funding, and ending mask mandates. The night’s first major dispute occurred on the issue of Covid safety requirements, a subject on which the two candidates have traded competing policies and broadsides for months. “I encourage people to get vaccinated,” said Ciattarelli, who has repeatedly lambasted Murphy’s school mask requirements and vaccine mandates. “Do I believe that government has a right to tell people they have to take a medicine? No, I don’t.” “Saying that it’s your call, and the government can’t mandate the vaccine … is akin to supporting drunk driving,” Murphy responded. “It impacts both the person who’s driving drunk, and all the rest of us. That’s not the way we beat this.” The two candidates also sparred over abortion , with both agreeing to protect New Jersey women’s access to abortion but firmly disagreeing on how far those protections should go. “I have […]

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