Gov. Phil Murphy used his annual State of the State speech Monday to again slam the rioters who attacked the U.S Capitol last week and blame President Donald Trump — though not by name — for egging them on.
“We were all shocked to witness a mob, incited and supported by politicians at the highest levels of government, shamefully try to invalidate the votes of 158 million Americans through insurrection,” Murphy said.
Although the Democrat collaborated with Trump during the early months of the pandemic, Murphy has vocally criticized him for sowing doubt about the November election results.
Murphy went on to say that the best way to combat attacks on democracy is by strengthening it, and he touted coronavirus-related changes to the state’s election procedures that allowed a record number of residents to cast ballots last year.
He also reiterated his support for a bill in the legislature that would establish early, in-person voting in New Jersey.
“Regardless of your party affiliation, your vote is your voice, and this country is better off when more of us are heard,” Murphy said.
Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick, a Republican, began his response to Murphy’s speech with a nod to the violence in Washington, D.C., last week and his personal relationship with the governor.
“We are not enemies. We are members of different political parties,” Bramnick said. “Those who want to turn each other into enemies, in my judgment, do a disservice to democracy.”
New Jersey sent State Police troopers and National Guard troops to the U.S. capital for added security in the wake of the riots there.
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