July 23, 2019 | 73° F

VACCHIANO: Democrats’ endorsement of Philip Murphy is hypocritical

Opinions Column: Tory Time

Politics has a way of bringing out the hypocrisy in people. The same Democrats who shook their heads at the thought of President Donald J. Trump running for office — a man with no public service record but a lot of money — are fawning over Philip Murphy, a former Goldman Sachs executive who has never held an elected office but is seeking the highest public position in New Jersey under the Democratic ticket. When he did not work at Goldman Sachs, Murphy served as U.S. ambassador to Germany from 2009-2013. It’s unclear how serving as an ambassador in Germany qualifies one to be governor of New Jersey. Murphy does not appear to have done a particularly good job as ambassador either — German-U.S. relations were soured after Wikileaks published documents that showed Murphy calling Chancellor Angela Merkel “insecure” and “risk averse and rarely creative.” In other words, Murphy did exactly what an ambassador should not do, which is criticize the leader of the country he was assigned to conduct diplomacy with. But Democrats don’t seem to care about this, and they have thrown their support behind Murphy over other potential Democratic candidates like Assemblyman John Wisniewski (D-N.J.) and Sen. Raymond Lesniak (D-N.J). By the way, Angela Merkel didn’t think Murphy was qualified either. In 2009, she asked former President Barack Obama to reconsider his nomination for ambassador to Germany. When he didn’t, she accepted it begrudgingly.

Sandeep Patankar wrote a thought-provoking article praising Murphy in the Targum last week, and while I would like to give Patankar credit for giving a good defense of Murphy, I disagree with the faith Patankar is placing in him. The claim that Murphy is a credible candidate because he cares more about New Jerseyans than getting elected is one — false and two — something any politician says to get elected. Moreover, although Murphy presents a comprehensive plan to deal with the opioid epidemic in New Jersey, I question if he’ll ever get it through or make substantial progress with it, mainly because it is such a lofty goal and he has no experience in this type of public service. Murphy’s lack of experience makes him less credible in general — no matter what plans he puts out or what he says, he presents no evidence that anyone should believe him.

It is also worth noting that Murphy doesn’t seem to understand basic facts about current issues. His official campaign website says that “women in New Jersey currently earn 79 cents to a man’s dollar,” which is untrue and not something that the government can legislate as the number is the result of women seeking out lower-paying jobs. Murphy can’t fix something that’s not a problem, especially with no experience. His website also states that “the argument that raising the minimum wage kills jobs is a myth that is simply not supported by evidence” — which is ironic, because there’s actually an overwhelming amount of evidence that raising the minimum wage kills jobs. When Congress raised the minimum wage 10.6 percent in 2009, 600,000 teenage minimum-wage jobs were lost in the ensuing six months — and that was only 10.6 percent, while Murray would plan to raise it nearly 177 percent. At this point, leftist economists have conceded that minimum wage increases do kill jobs, but they argue that it is necessary and a good thing in the long-run. If Murphy took that position, it would at least show some economic understanding, but instead he flat-out denies simple economic facts. How is Murphy going to raise the double the minimum wage and also create new jobs? And how will he do this with no experience?

It’s embarrassing to live in a state where Murphy is considered the front-runner for governor and no one bats an eye. The next governor of New Jersey needs to be more than just someone who criticizes Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.). At this point, Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno (R-N.J.) has much more political experience and credibility than Phil Murphy, serving as both lieutenant governor and secretary of state of New Jersey. Guadagno has spent the last seven years working hard for the people of New Jersey and succeeding. As the overseer of New Jersey Partnership for Action and the chair of the Red Tape Review Commission, Guadagno would deliver on her promises to help small businesses and boost New Jersey’s economy. She has been cutting red tape for small businesses in New Jersey for years, and removing the redundant and bureaucratic regulations that are hindering these businesses would be an ideal solution. Guadagno’s wide range of experience and honest public service record would make her a finer choice for the people of New Jersey. After all, Democrats think that an accomplished woman with more qualifications for the job should be elected over an inexperienced millionaire, right?

Andrea Vacchiano is a School of Arts and Sciences sophomore double-majoring in history and political science. Her column, "Tory Time," runs on alternate Fridays.

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Andrea Vacchiano

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