Updated at 3 p.m. (and again the next day)
The former Democratic congressman from Bucks County, Patrick Murphy, appeared on a decidedly anti-Christie MSNBC panel this afternoon alongside Sen. Barbara Buono (D., Middlesex).
Buono began by saying Christie is "anything but" a moderate on social issues, citing his pro-life and anti-gay marriage stances.
"He's trying his best not to talk about anything but Sandy recovery," Buono said. "And if I were him and I had his record of failure on the economy and jobs and property taxes and the cost of higher education, I wouldn't want to talk about anything else as well."
Murphy chimed in: "It sounds like Rudy Giuliani and 9/11."
The panelists laughed. Giuliani, the New York City mayor who was widely praised for the way he led the city after the Sept. 11 attacks, ran for president in 2008 hoping that the goodwill he generated from the attacks would propel him forward. It didn't work, as we know.
Christie's handling of Sandy sent his approval ratings into the stratosphere, and he has constantly and consistently reminded voters of Sandy. He says it's his most important duty going forward.
Sandy, though, happened five months ago and the state has plenty of rebuilding ahead of it. When Rudy ran for president, it was more than five years after Sept. 11.
Incidentally, Giuliani's campaign manager, Michael DuHaime, is Christie's chief campaign adviser.
UPDATE #1: DuHaime just emailed me a two-part response to Murphy's comments.
First, he said, "a grand total of zero people in NJ care what Patrick Murphy says."
And second: "Christie has an extensive record of success in terms of turning around the mess that was left in New Jersey by Gov. Corzine, but there’s no doubt that his response to Sandy showed people his incredible leadership abilities in real-time. Having your leadership compared to Mayor Giuliani’s leadership on September 11th is a nice compliment."
UPDATE #2: Last night, Murphy tweeted this in response to DuHaime: "Someone has their panties in a bunch."