Chris Christie slams Phil Murphy over NJ Dem's Italy vacation

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Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie had a few words to say this week about his Democrat successor, Phil Murphy, jetting off to Italy for a vacation with his family.

“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 at the Rockaway River Country Club in Denville, Insider NJ reported.

“The fact that … he’s sitting in Italy should tell you a little bit how seriously the governor takes his job.” 

Christie advised Jack Ciattarelli – Murphy’s Republican opponent in this year’s upcoming gubernatorial election – to take advantage of Murphy’s absence as a chance to convince voters that Murphy should be denied a second term, the report said.

“He’s got plenty of material to work with, in my opinion,” Christie said, urging Ciattarelli to hammer away at Murphy over his coronavirus policies and other issues.

Ciattarelli has been running a TV spot that includes a video clip of Murphy suggesting that voters should move away if their top concern is the state’s high taxes.

“If you’re a one-issue voter, and the tax rate is your issue, we’re probably not your state,” Murphy says in the clip.

“Not your state? Who says that?” Ciattarelli responds. “Phil Murphy just doesn’t get it.”

Christie, 58, a Republican who held the state’s top job from 2010 to 2018, claimed that Murphy’s willingness to leave the country for a personal holiday was sending the wrong message to voters.

Gov. Phil Murphy, D-N.J., left, is facing a challenge from Republican Jack Ciattarelli in this year’s gubernatorial election. (Associated Press/Reuters)

“He’s sending a message in the midst of everything else going on in this state – a very interesting message for him to send,” Christie said, according to Insider NJ.

Murphy told reporters last week that he would be away with his family for about 10 days, spending time on property they own in Italy that includes a 23-room mansion. The Massachusetts-born governor, who served as U.S. ambassador to Germany under former President Barack Obama, made a fortune years ago while working for financial firm Goldman Sachs.

The Democrat was criticized for previous Italy trips, including one taken in 2018, after he had been in office only about six months.

The Murphys appear to take their summer vacations close to their birthdays. First lady Tammy Murphy turned 56 on Aug. 5, while Phil Murphy turned 64 on Monday.

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