GOP hopeful Ciattarelli rips NJ Gov Murphy over Bill of Rights ‘above my pay grade’ comment

New Jersey Republican gubernatorial candidate Jack Ciattarelli joined “Tucker Carlson Tonight” on Monday to respond to Gov. Philip Murphy’s taxation policies and previous comments about whether the consideration that his socioeconomic lockdown orders violated the Constitution might be “above my pay grade.”

Host Tucker Carlson reminded the audience of Murphy’s last appearance on the program in April 2020 — when New Jersey and its surrounding Democrat-run states instituted sweeping mandates against religious or family gatherings and operations of businesses like gyms and restaurants.

In April 2020, Carlson asked Murphy about a case in which 15 men were arrested for congregating at a Lakewood, N.J., synagogue for the funeral of Orthodox Rabbi Chaim Moshe Strulovics in violation of his executive order banning large gatherings.

‘The Bill of Rights, as you well know, protects Americans’ rights — enshrines their right to practice their religion as they see fit and to congregate together to assemble peacefully,” Carlson said. “By what authority did you nullify the Bill of Rights in issuing this order? How do you have the power to do that?”

“That’s above my pay grade, Tucker,” Murphy responded. “I wasn’t thinking of the Bill of Rights when we did this … we looked at all the data and the science and it says people have to stay away from each other. That is the best thing we can do to break the back of the curve of this virus, that leads to lower hospitalization and ultimately fatalities.”

TUCKER CONFRONTS NJ GOV MURPHY OVER LOCKDOWN MEASURES: ‘I WASN’T THINKING OF THE BILL OF RIGHTS’

Former President Barack Obama points toward Gov. Phil Murphy, who salutes him on stage, during an early vote rally at Weequahic Park, Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021, in Newark, N.J. (AP Photo/Stefan Jeremiah)

Former President Barack Obama points toward Gov. Phil Murphy, who salutes him on stage, during an early vote rally at Weequahic Park, Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021, in Newark, N.J. (AP Photo/Stefan Jeremiah)

In response, Ciattarelli said that while Democrats hold about a 1 million voter advantage in the Garden State, many New Jersey Democrats are “fiscally conservative and socially moderate.”

“This guy is just way too extreme,” he said, noting that no Democratic governor has been reelected in the state since Gov. Brendan Byrne in the late 1970s.

Carlson went on to compare Murphy to former Gov. Jim Florio, a Democrat of the early 1990s whose plan to hike taxes in the billions upset so many New Jersey voters that they responded by giving Republicans their first legislative majority in Trenton in decades.

“Phil Murphy has done the same thing [as Jim Florio], he’s gone way too far left,” replied Ciattarelli, formerly a state lawmaker and county freeholder from Somerset.

“A year and a half ago on this very show, [Murphy claimed] ‘the Bill of Rights is above my pay grade’. — It’s not funny. But worse than that, he told the highest taxed people in the nation ‘if taxes are issue, we are probably not your state’.”

Incumbent Gov. Phil Murphy, D-N.J., right, speaks while Republican challenger Jack Ciattarelli listens during a gubernatorial debate at Rowan University's Pfleeger Concert Hall Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021, in Glassboro, N.J. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II, Pool)

Incumbent Gov. Phil Murphy, D-N.J., right, speaks while Republican challenger Jack Ciattarelli listens during a gubernatorial debate at Rowan University’s Pfleeger Concert Hall Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021, in Glassboro, N.J. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II, Pool)

“He’s basically telling Jerseyans to leave.”

“[Murphy] makes Florio look reasonable,” Carlson remarked in reply.

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Ciattarelli added that while he is about 6 points down in the polls, voters should not view that as a reason not to vote in what is one of the nation’s only two odd-year gubernatorial elections.

“We are very confident in this year’s election system we are confident to win on November 2nd,” he said.

The other off-year gubernatorial election is occurring in Virginia where former Democratic Gov. Terence McAuliffe is locked in a margin-of-error race with Falls Church businessman Glenn Youngkin.

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