‘There’s a lot of hurt out there,’ N.J. governor says of close reelection

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy admitted deep frustration among voters on Sunday, just days after his surprisingly narrow win in re-election and an overall poor performance by the Democrats.

“It’s pretty clear there’s a lot going to be hurt out there,” Murphy said in an interview with NBC’s Meet the Press. “And there are plenty of kitchen tables that we need to reconnect with and help people get through this time, whether they have lost a loved one, job, small business, frustrated with the ongoing pandemic or economic recovery are whatever it will be. “

The top executive won a second term in an unexpectedly close election against Republican Jack Ciattarelli in a state that President Joe Biden had easily won a year ago. It was an unusually poor performance in the deep blue state, where the President of the US Senate, Steve Sweeney, was also angrily dismissed.

Murphy predicted that without expanding some key programs and raising the minimum wage, the results for the Garden State Democrats could have been worse.

“Thank god we put the programs in place … whether it’s expanding Pre-K, raising the minimum wage, investing in all-time infrastructure, because I think if we hadn’t, we might have been swept away too . “Said Murphy.

The Democrats also picked up a shellac in Virginia, where former Governor Terry McAuliffe lost a counteroffer to Republican Glenn Youngkin. Both gubernatorial competitions are often viewed as guiding stars for the upcoming mid-term congressional elections.

White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain said Sunday that the Democrats’ poor performance “sent a message” to take faster action to implement Biden’s agenda. Legislators sent a bipartisan infrastructure bill of $ 550 billion to Biden’s desk on Friday. The Democrats, meanwhile, continue to sort through a $ 1.75 trillion social spending package.

Murphy called the infrastructure legislation “a game changer”. But he said the debate over the Democratic-only spending package known as Build Back Better “feels very abstract” in New Jersey.

“New Jersey is doing it – expanding Pre-K, expanding childcare, funding public education, making housing more affordable, college more affordable, health care more affordable,” Murphy said.

“So when you look at this debate in Washington, people think, ‘Well, I wonder if that would work,'” he said. “And I’m screaming, ‘Listen, look at New Jersey, it works.'”

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