Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, residents of the state of New Jersey have been told to basically stay home for the past couple of months. While overall compliance has been excellent, Gov. Phil Murphy has faced increasing criticism from some circles lately.

Protestors at the state capital have demanded the state economy be re-opened. Some have accused him of being a fascist for his stay-home directives. Online petitions demand Murphy allow some form of in-person high school graduation ceremonies, while others have blamed him for the state’s unemployment insurance backlog.

Some lawmakers have complained that the governor is moving too slowly on the re-opening front, while others are calling for hearings and one state senator has referred to the governor as "King Murphy" because he’s issued so many executive orders.

When asked on Wednesday how he’s holding up, Murphy smiled and said sometimes he gets a little down but “our job is to shoot as much as we can down the middle of the plate as responsibly as we can. We’ll continue doing what we’re doing whether it’s popular or not.”

“If you get depressed, politics would be the wrong line of business, so as a general matter, you have to have a thick skin," he said.

“I’m like anyone else, I’m a human being and this is an incredibly difficult chapter in our country’s history, in our state’s history,” he said. “Maybe the most difficult, arguably. Listen — everyone is entitled to their opinion. I don’t begrudge that. I don’t agree with everybody. Others are entitled to their opinions.”

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Murphy admitted “it occasionally gets to you but at the end of the day the responsibility that I’ve got — we have got, all of us — is to keep moving. This is not a popularity contest. We’re up here to save as many lives as we can.”

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