New Jersey Democratic governor accused of 'taking a break from killing seniors' to attack congressman

Rep. Jeff Van Drew on Pelosi facing narrow path to keep House speakership

Democrat-turned-Republican Rep. Jeff Van Drew, R-N.J., says House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is not getting the work of the American people done.

New Jersey’s Democratic governor on Monday attacked Democrat-turned-GOP Rep. Jeff Van Drew over the congressman’s announcement that he will vote against certifying Joe Biden’s presidential win.

During his daily COVID-19 press briefing in Trenton, Gov. Phil Murphy blasted Van Drew for siding with "conspiracy theorists" and the "far-right."

"It pains me, in particular, to see one of our own representatives, Congressman Jeff Van Drew, cynically siding with conspiracy theorists and throwing his fate in with the far-right’s disproven and crackpot theories," Murphy said. "If that’s the legacy Jeff wants, then I guess it is what it is."

Murphy blasted Republican senators and more than 100 GOP House members for "openly and unabashedly working to undermine our constitutional norms … and to overthrow a free and fair election decided by the American people." 

But Murphy also commended "Republicans who have shown the courage of their convictions to say what's right."

President Trump's unprecedented attempts to overturn the presidential election have split the Republican Party. Multiple GOP lawmakers are backing Trump's dubious claims, despite an outpouring of condemnation from current and former party officials warning the effort is undermining American's faith in democracy. 

The comments come a week after Van Drew wrote in an op-ed for Save Jersey, a conservative political blog, that he intended to oppose certifying the results of the Electoral College.

Van Drew’s campaign manager Ron Filan fired back at the governor for singling out the congressman during a press briefing on the state of the pandemic in New Jersey.

"It’s good to see Phil Murphy taking a break from killing seniors in nursing homes and destroying our friends and neighbors’ livelihoods long enough to refer to hundreds of thousands of his constituents as crackpot conspiracy theorists simply because they want to have the confidence he continues to deny them in the outcome of our elections," Filan said.

Filan said that Van Drew "has been clear from day one that his opposition to certifying the results of the Electoral College isn’t about who won or lost the presidency, but rather a rejection of the status quo and a no-confidence vote in politicians like Phil Murphy, who rather dismiss Americans as naïve, stupid, or conspiracy theorists in comments exactly like the one he gave today rather than doing the job they were elected and continually fail to do."

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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