New Jersey’s Democratic Governor Phil Murphy just went full scorched earth on Florida Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz. Murphy called Gaetz “Matt Putz” in both his daily press conference and in a string of social media posts Friday afternoon, in which he blasted the congressman and the New York Young Republican Club for holding a fundraising gala in Jersey City on Thursday night. Murphy said the group allegedly snuck into the Jersey City venue after they were unable to hold the event in New York due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Last night, the @NYYRC allegedly snuck into Jersey City to hold a “gala fundraiser” – ignoring our social distancing and mask rules.
It is beyond the pale that anyone would willingly endanger people in another state.
Jersey City law enforcement is investigating this matter. pic.twitter.com/OX2ug8S1e3
— Governor Phil Murphy (@GovMurphy) December 4, 2020
It is also beyond the pale that Rep Matt Putz – I mean @RepMattGaetz – would participate in this. What a fool.
Matt – You are not welcome in New Jersey, and frankly I don’t ever want you back in this state. pic.twitter.com/j67x9Z2lAf
— Governor Phil Murphy (@GovMurphy) December 4, 2020
Murphy slammed the attendees at the event, as photo and video footage showed them failing to practice social distancing or wear masks.
“That guy in the middle, the tall handsome fella in the gray suit, that is Rep. Matt Putz, sorry Matt Gaetz, and based on his past performances, it is obvious being a knucklehead is not beyond the pale for him,” Murphy said.
Governor Phil Murphy repeatedly roasts Matt Gaetz after his superspreader event and tells him never to come back to New Jersey. This is how all politicians should treat Gaetz — like the joke that he is. pic.twitter.com/m8FvZXh1kQ
— Adam Best (@adamcbest) December 4, 2020
Murphy frequently uses the term “knucklehead” in New Jersey communications and roadway signs to refer to people who refuse to abide by COVID-19 precautions.
In his posts, Murphy ended, “frankly I don’t ever want you back in this state.”
Reactions to Murphy’s public remarks were swift and fierce. Gavin Mario Wax, president of the New York Young Republican Club, denied any wrongdoing and accused Murphy of acting in politically-motivated bad faith. Wax went on to challenge, “As far as we are aware, the First Amendment has not been repealed.”
The @NYYRC Gala was held in full compliance with all applicable laws and regulations. Any suggestion to the contrary and any legal threats are made in bad faith and politically motivated. As far as we are aware, the First Amendment has not been repealed.
— Gavin Mario Wax (@GavinWax) December 4, 2020
Gaetz tried his hand at some snark as well, retorting, “You’re gonna regret this tweet when you move to Florida like the rest of New Jersey.”
You’re gonna regret this tweet when you move to Florida like the rest of New Jersey. https://t.co/zVYjvEYF0I
— Matt Gaetz (@mattgaetz) December 4, 2020
The internet was ready for the Murphy v. Gaetz e-brawl.
Reactions ranged from the ironic:
I feel like now is a good time to remind Matt Gaetz of when he was too stupid to understand why a COVID treatment facility would be in a relief bill. https://t.co/mcm7hd2ZrE
— Steve Hofstetter (@SteveHofstetter) December 4, 2020
Remember also that Gaetz had COVID, so that makes this dressing down even more impactful. https://t.co/UdJo59f0xW
— Daryle Lamont Jenkins (@DLamontJenkins) December 4, 2020
…to the personal:
Wait. I thought Gaetz had a thing going with Tiffany Trump! Who’s the brunette?
— Joan Tempesta #DemandJustice Covid-19Fallen (@DarkStarStorm) December 4, 2020
And the festive:
🎵On the first day of Covid, Matt Gaetz gave to me . . . A super-spreader par-arr-tee.🎵
— ☔❄💙Jen-Is-Blue💙❄☔ (@JenDifatta) December 4, 2020
…to the straight-up Jersey.
Are you actually threatening @GovMurphy?
— David Weissman (@davidmweissman) December 4, 2020
Damn. Governor Phil Murphy has zero fucks left to give🔥🔥🔥
Calls Matt Gaetz a putz and tells him to stay the fuck away from New Jersey with his Super spreader bullshit cause he’s not welcome here anymore. #MattPutz #MattGaetzIsATool #COVIDIOTS pic.twitter.com/49jtJYdR3O
— Hadley Sheley (@HadleySheley) December 4, 2020
Dear Matt Gaetz-
Stop being an asshole.
Stay out of New Jersey. pic.twitter.com/azmNrK7piC
— Elena Perez 📢 (@elenamarieperez) December 4, 2020
It appears the celebratory night was destined for Twitter-glory right from the start. One attendee tweeted out a picture of himself with Gaetz, daring New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D), “I’m here with Matt Gaetz. Come and get me.”
— Joel Fischer (@JFNYC1) December 4, 2020
Jersey City chief prosecutor Jake Hudnut jumped in and quickly responded, “Pssst… you are in Jersey City -not New York. Gov. Cuomo may not be able to “come and get” you. But I can.”
Pssst…you are in #JerseyCity – not New York.
Gov. Cuomo may not be able to “come and get” you.
But I can.
— Jake Hudnut (@JakeHudnut) December 4, 2020
Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop (D) got in on the conversation too, tweeting “So brave of you to tweet at [Governor Cuomo] after sneaking across the river to hide in NJ in order to hold a party that you wouldn’t disclose the location of. Nevertheless JC law enforcement will be visiting the Maritime Parc this AM + will follow appropriate steps within laws of NJ.”
So brave of you to tweet at @NYGovCuomo after sneaking across the river to hide in NJ in order to hold a party that you wouldn’t disclose the location of. Nevertheless JC law enforcement will be visiting the Maritime Parc this AM + will follow appropriate steps within laws of NJ https://t.co/Cf37mvN0Bz
— Steven Fulop (@StevenFulop) December 4, 2020
Jersey City Police are reportedly investigating the event.
[image via Mandel Ngan/Pool/AFP Getty Images]
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