New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy reportedly left this week on a 10-day vacation with his family at a home he owns in Italy as the delta variant of the coronavirus continued to spike in the state, across the country and in Italy.
“Listen, I’m no different than any other family,” Murphy said during a coronavirus briefing Monday. “After this past 17 months, just having a few days together is something that I think all of us want to do with our family, and I’m looking forward to that.”
The governor planned to leave last Tuesday for a visit to his 23-room multimillion-dollar villa in Umbria and return to New Jersey next Thursday, NorthJersey.com reported.
Murphy, who drew criticism for a previous trip to Italy in 2018, is seeking reelection this year and Republican opponent Jack Ciattarelli blasted him for his decision to leave the country.
“While ‘Rome is burning’ here in New Jersey, Murphy is living in the lap of luxury and too rich to care about the communities and families impacted by the small businesses who had to close their doors forever,” Ciattarelli tweeted Thursday.
Ciattarelli also took a shot at Murphy over his Italian pad and criticized his New Jersey credibility in June after he won the Republican primary. Murphy is a native of Massachusetts who had a long career at Goldman Sachs in New York City.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy speaks in Newark, May 6, 2019. (Getty Images)
“New Jersey is where I vacation, on LBI [Long Beach Island, New Jersey], while Phil Murphy jets off to his villa in Italy,” Ciattarelli said on the night of his win, according to NorthJersey.com. “This is where I root for the Yankees, while Phil Murphy is cheering for the Red Sox.”
Ciattarelli was in Israel last week, according to NorthJersey.com.
Murphy claimed his Italian vacation wouldn’t prevent him from being reachable.
“I will never be more than a call or a text away,” Murphy promised at the briefing.
Last week, Murphy told reporters his family was leaving ahead of him and he was “staying back” to work on some state business for a few days and hoped to join them soon.
Murphy and his wife purchased the home in 2004 for $7 million.
It will be his first vacation since the start of the pandemic, according to NorthJersey.com.
Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver will serve as acting governor while Murphy is out of the state.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.