N.J. Governor Tells Matt Gaetz He's 'Not Welcome' in the State Again After Attending Young Republican Gala

Chris Pedota/The Record via AP, Pool

On Friday, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, a Democrat, issued a sharp rebuke to Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) after photos and video of Gaetz attending a New York Young Republicans gala held in Jersey City appeared on social media. The event was in apparent violation of the state’s COVID-19 social-distancing and masking guidelines.


“I can’t believe this,” Murphy said during his daily COVID-19 press conference on Friday. “On social media this morning, from the New York Young Republican Club that allegedly snuck into Jersey City last night to hold a gala fundraiser after they couldn’t find a venue in their own city due to the pandemic.”

Imagine that.

The governor continued, “So from the videos on social media and certainly this picture there is no obvious attempt to enforce social distancing or face masks, even though wearing masks indoors in New Jersey is mandatory at organized gatherings when individuals are not eating or drinking.”

According to Murphy, “It is also beyond the pale that a member of Congress” would attend this event, and referred to Gaetz as “Matt Putz.”

Gaetz, Murphy says, is a “fool” for attending the event and said all those who attended the gala “should be ashamed of themselves.”

Then the governor made a statement directly to Rep. Gaetz: “I hope you’re watching, Matt. You are not welcome in New Jersey, and frankly, I don’t ever want you back in this state.”


Gaetz responded to the governor’s criticism on Twitter. “You’re gonna regret this tweet when you move to Florida like the rest of New Jersey,” he tweeted.

Murphy’s criticism of the event stands in contrast to his own violation of his social-distancing guidelines back in June, when he—you guessed it—participated in a Black Lives Matter protest.

Murphy is one of many elected Democrats who violate their own COVID restrictions, such as California Governor Gavin Newsom, who dined indoors and without a mask with a bunch of lobbyists the same week he told California residents to avoid Thanksgiving gatherings. Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot participated in a Biden victory celebration in violation of her own COVID restrictions. Nancy Pelosi infamously got her hair done at a San Francisco hair salon that wasn’t even supposed to be open—and didn’t wear a mask.

The list goes on and on.

The president of the New York Young Republican Club insists that all local laws and regulations were followed.


However, the venue where the event was held has since been shut down by the state. Rep. Gaetz called on Jersey residents to “escape the tyranny” and move to Florida.


Matt Margolis is the author of Airborne: How The Liberal Media Weaponized The Coronavirus Against Donald Trumpand the bestselling book The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. You can follow Matt on Twitter @MattMargolis

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