Republican candidate for governor Kim Guadagno used questions about Wednesday’s terror attack in New York City as an opportunity to launch her own attack against Democrat Phil Murphy’s pledge to make New Jersey a sanctuary state.
“I’m going to double down on our efforts to condemn sanctuary states,” said Guadagno. “I believe sanctuary state makes New Jersey less safe. I believe governors should follow the law. I believe Phil Murphy’s call for a sanctuary state calls for a violation of that law. When you take an oath to be the governor of the state of New Jersey, you take an oath to support the laws of New Jersey and the laws of the U.S. Phil Murphy would break that oath the day he took it.”
Guadagno said vetting procedures for immigrants may have to be re-examined, but stands by her promise to lift Gov. Christie’s ban on state assistance for Syrian refugees in New Jersey. However, authorities note Tuesday’s alleged attacker, who reportedly lived in Paterson, entered the U.S. legally and had a green card.
“What happened Tuesday was a horrendous act by a terrorist, and whether sanctuary state policies would avoid it or not has yet to be seen,” Guadagno said. “I just think that type of behavior, that lack of vetting, that lack of research, that lack of detaining immigrants who’ve committed violent crimes in New Jersey, makes New Jersey less safe and possibly even the region.”
Guadagno slammed Murphy for currying union support by refusing to take a stand on controversial issues. A spoofed Phil Murphy campaign schedule released by Guadagno’s camp shows him chatting with the teachers union, but refusing to take phone calls from Senate President Steve Sweeney, whose re-election is opposed by the NJEA. Murphy also won’t comment on renewing the two percent cap on arbitrated police and firefighter salary hikes.
“I mean, it’s obvious that he’s not taking a position on the numbers, because he’s made promises to the public sector unions that he won’t,” she said.
Meanwhile, a new Monmouth University poll showed no change in the point-spread between Guadagno and her opponent. In October, the candidates were 14 points apart. Each has gained a couple of points, but the gap remains 14 points. Election Day prediction?
“We’re going to see Phil Murphy win this race by somewhere in the low-to-mid-teens because we just don’t see a lot of opportunity for movement here from Kim Guadagno. And the one prediction I’m absolutely certain of is, it’s going to be a record low turnout,” said Patrick Murray, Monmouth University Polling Institute director.
Six days remain to move the needle. Expect Guadagno to stay on the offensive.