In Newark, Murphy jabs Trump and says: This is what America looks like


Governor-elect kicked off inaugural weekend by challenging President Trump on anti-immigrant statements.

Gov.-elect Phil Murphy kicked off his inaugural weekend at a Newark reception Friday after a series of public events where the incoming Democratic leader of the state highlighted New Jersey’s diversity to rebut anti-immigration comments from President Donald Trump.

Standing in front of supporters seating in the pews of the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart, Murphy joined religious leaders of Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu and other denominations for an interfaith prayer service.

“Boy, I would love to invite the leadership of this country to come into this cathedral and say, ‘This is the United States of America,'” Murphy said.

The remarks followed national media reports that Trump — a friend of outgoing Gov. Chris Christie and a frequent target of Murphy’s on the campaign trail — had questioned in a closed-door meeting with congressional leaders why the U.S. accepts immigrants from “shithole countries” like Haiti and some African nations.

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Murphy, who takes office on Tuesday, will spend the weekend holding events across the state before he takes the oath of office in Trenton on Tuesday. At a Monmouth County press conference Friday, Murphy announced Asbury Park schools superintendent Lamont Repollet would serve as his education commissioner.

Following the Newark prayer service, the governor-elect traveled just a few blocks to the Newark Museum for the reception, where Lt. Gov.-elect Sheila Oliver said she would visit as a young girl growing up in the city.

A ebullient Murphy — a former theater student who did not shy from breaking into dance on the campaign trail — joined his lieutenant and members of his family on stage as the band played the gospel song “Oh Happy Day.”

“I want to remind out president that it’s not about the color of your skin, or your religion, or the god you worship, or the person you love, or where you were born — including Haiti,” Murphy said. “We are all God’s children.”

On Saturday, Murphy and Oliver are scheduled to travel the state by public transportation, highlighting the importance of mass transit. The governor-elect has called NJ Transit a “national disgrace” and pledged to reform the troubled agency.

“Someone said, ‘What are you predicting?'” Murphy told the crowd in Newark. “I said, ‘I can predict we are going to be late.'”

S.P. Sullivan may be reached at ssullivan@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter. Find NJ.com on Facebook.

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Source:: New Jersey Real-Time News

      

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