Inside the million-dollar NJ fundraiser with Bon Jovi, Biden at Murphy’s mansion
President Joe Biden joined an intimate Democratic fundraiser at the governor’s mansion along the Navesink River — with a celebrity neighbor also in attendance.
Jon Bon Jovi, a longtime friend and supporter of Murphy, was among the select group of just 15 donors who raised $1 million during the Democratic National Committee Reception hosted at the private residence in Middletown, not far from Red Bank.
Murphy — who also serves as head of the Democratic Governors Association — and Garden State first lady Tammy Murphy first addressed the crowd before the president began speaking around 4:30 p.m.
What Biden said at Murphy's house
As the donors were seated on couches around the room, the president covered different topics for about a half-hour, before then fielding some questions.
Biden spoke about his administration’s achievements and the high stakes of upcoming elections, according to pool coverage shared by the White House.
“I've had — the press has heard me say this — six different Republicans in the first half of this year came to me separately, and said, ‘Joe, I agree with you, but I just can't afford to vote with you. If I do, I'll lose my seat because I'll lose the primary,’” Biden said, adding it doesn’t sound “very brave” but that it’s the reality facing politicians.
The president also said of the political climate: “It’s just a different time."
"But think what’s at stake here. If in fact the present leadership of the Republican Party takes over — and I refer to them, and not all Republicans are MAGA Republicans; I’m not making that case. But there’s a good 35 percent that are really hard, hard, hard Trumpites. And I’m not making a personal attack on them; I’m stating a fact.”
After a stop earlier Thursday to visit an IBM facility in Poughkeepsie, New York, Air Force One landed at JFK airport and Biden transferred to the presidential helicopter, Marine One, to make the trip across the Hudson River.
A motorcade brought him to the Murphy residence, hitting the road just before 4 p.m.
“We drove past lots of people taking photos with their kids, some waving American flags. One couple had a big “DeSantis 2024” sign pinned to the tree in their front yard,” pool reporters said of the motorcade ride back to the helicopter, which Biden boarded just before 6:30 p.m.
After his visit to New Jersey, Biden headed back to New York and attended a different fundraiser at the Manhattan home of investor James Murdoch — son of conservative media mogul Rupert Murdoch — and his wife, Kathyrn.
That event — held at the couple’s townhouse on the Upper East Side, as reported by Patch — raised money for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.
James Murdoch differs from his father’s politics and has backed off his media empire (which includes News Corp. and The Wall Street Journal), as reported by Deadline.
He supported Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign, according to the same report, citing Federal Election Commission records.
The presidential motorcades on Thursday predictably caused gridlock in both states.
It prompted a smattering of tweets, criticizing how local businesses and motorists were impacted by the president’s arrival and travel.
A Twitter user last month said there were more frequent stop-downs during the one term that President Donald Trump was in office.
Trump spent 106 days, while president, at his Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, as reported by The Washington Post.
Murphy's Middletown compound
Gov. Murphy’s “sprawling waterfront property” — which spans more than six acres — has a basketball/tennis court, infinity pool, a kids’ soccer field and shuffleboard court, according to pool reporters, as the mansion itself and a pool house are both Spanish-style architecture.
A glimpse of the house’s styling was seen in a photo shared to Facebook two years ago by the governor, when he had to quarantine due to COVID.
Sen. Michael Testa had sent a pizza from Brothers restaurant in Red Bank, which Murphy thanked him for.
Bon Jovi, a longtime resident of the neighborhood, has tried for years to sell his own $20 million Navesink River property.
It's unclear if there have been any takers, based on property records.