New Jersey Democrat Phil Murphy compared taking money from the National Rifle Association to accepting contributions from movie mogul Harvey Weinstein during a debate on Tuesday night.
Murphy, who is running to replace Chris Christie as governor of the Garden State, insisted he never took a "dime" from Weinstein during his first debate with Republican Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, before he pivoted to attacking the NRA.
"I want to take this opportunity to say that the Republican Governors Association, which is running a lot of ads against me, has gotten at least $60,000 from her friends at the NRA this year, and I find that unconscionable, particularly since what happened over the past nine days," Murphy said, in reference to the Las Vegas massacre last week.
Weinstein, an Oscar-winning producer and Democratic mega-donor, has faced explosive allegations of decades of sexual misconduct over the past week, leading numerous Democrats to denounce him and return his contributions. The past two Democratic presidential nominees, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, both blasted Weinstein in statements on Tuesday.
In response to the allegations, Murphy canceled a planned fundraiser with Weinstein. According to Page Six, Murphy had met with him and actor Robert de Niro in August to discuss the powerful Hollywood players backing his campaign.
"I didn't ask for and I didn't get one dime from this guy," Murphy said of Weinstein. "What he's done is completely outrageous and heinous. I call on anybody who has gotten contributions from him to send them—as some have already done—to organizations that are focused on women's rights in our country."
The fallout from the reporting on Weinstein's behavior has been swift. He has been fired from The Weinstein Company, his wife has announced she is leaving him, and he has checked into a rehab facility.