NJ Gov. Phil Murphy on Maskless Dining Confrontation: ‘I’d Prefer Folks to Be More Civil’

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - Gov. Phil Murphy on Thursday called on lawmakers to send him legislation ensuring that state residents can pay property taxes as charitable contributions to skirt the federal tax overhaul.
AP Photo/Julio Cortez

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) opened up on the viral confrontation caught on tape between his maskless dinner party and bystanders, who heckled him for dining out after he moved to retighten coronavirus restrictions and encouraged people to make their Thanksgiving plans “as small as possible.”

“There’s no reason we should have to be having a political discussion about whether or not you’re wearing a mask. We were dining outdoors in the middle of our meal,” he said in a Tuesday appearance on CBS This Morning.

While he said he “could take” such criticism, he said he would “prefer folks to be more civil and to leave our kids out of this”:

He expressed a similar sentiment during a press conference, telling reporters, “I’m a big boy. I have thick skin. It doesn’t impact me at all and I think I can say the same thing for my wife.”

“I would say this though: our kids are not part of that … and I don’t even know who these people were, by the way,” he added.

The viral incident, posted over the weekend, featured a woman approaching the governor, who was dining outdoors with his family. None of them were wearing masks at the time.

“You’re having fun with your family, and in the meantime, you’re having all other kind of bullshit going on,” she said as another individual off camera called the governor a “dick.”

As Breitbart News detailed:

Someone, presumably in Murphy’s party, could be heard asking the woman to put her mask on, prompting a snappy response.

“You can go fuck yourself. How’s that?” she said.

“You want to know why I don’t need a mask? Because there ain’t nothing fucking wrong with me,” she said.

“I like your Trump phone case. Guess who Trump likes? He likes my dad,” a young man at the table said, gesturing to the governor, who decided to put a mask on during the confrontation.

The confrontation came on the heels of Murphy urging residents to modify their Thanksgiving plans as he retightened restrictions across the Garden State:

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