Trump has friendly dinner with Murphy and wife in Bedminster
BEDMINSTER — The bromance continues between New Jersey's progressive Democratic governor and President Donald Trump.
Gov. Phil Murphy and wife Tammy spent Friday evening dining with the Republican president at his golf club in Somerset County. And from all outside appearances, it was a pleasant affair.
Murphy on Friday night retweeted Trump's announcement about the dinner.
"Just finished dinner in Bedminster, New Jersey, with Governor Phil Murphy (@GovMurphy) and his wonderful wife, Tammy," the president said, adding that they spoke about reopening the state's economy and infrastructure projects.
White House reporters earlier in the evening added that the two leaders would also be discussing the state's response to the pandemic.
Trump is staying at the Bedminster golf club this weekend. As usual, his arrival was greeted by protesters. The Bedminster club has been one of Trump's favorite residences during his presidency, vying with Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach as his home away from the White House.
While Murphy's first term in office has been notable for the numerous lawsuits filed against the Trump administration on everything from environmental regulations to the tax code, Murphy's public statements about Trump during the last four months of the pandemic have been notable for their friendly and grateful tone.
Murphy has often pointed out the federal government's efforts in helping New Jersey obtain personal protective equipment and ventilators, building field hospitals and securing aid for businesses and unemployed residents.
And the feeling has been mutual. Trump has spared Murphy from his Twitter tirades against other Democratic governors. During an exclusive interview with New Jersey 101.5's Bill Spadea last month, Trump called Murphy a "good governor" who is "working hard.'
Murphy met with Trump at the White House in April to pitch for more federal aid. During a joint news conference, Trump said of Murphy that New Jersey "can't have a better representative."
Murphy was the only Democratic governor this month who agreed to send National Guard troops to Washington, D.C., amid roiling protests against racism and police violence. The state's troops temporarily helped guard national monuments and returned home last weekend.
Ben Dworkin, the director of the Rowan University Institute for Public Policy and Citizenship, has credited Murphy with setting aside political differences with Trump, at least for the time being.
“It’s not the time to be picking fights over other policy issues. The preeminent issue right now is to just deal with the health issue," Dworkin told New Jersey 101.5 last month. “Whatever the history was, that has been pushed to the side. There will be plenty of time to fight over those policy issues later.”
Sergio Bichao is deputy digital editor at New Jersey 101.5. Send him news tips: Call 609-359-5348 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.