LIVINGSTON — Republican gubernatorial candidate Chris Christie returned to the town he grew up in to rally the Republican faithful one last time before polls open tomorrow morning.
Addressing a crowd of about 200 in an ornate catering hall four doors down from his childhood home, Christie gave a variation of the stump speech he’s given countless times across the state. But he peppered it with references to his home town and the fact that he had known some in the audience for decades.”
“Thee foundation was laid here. Everything that has happened up ‘til now, everything that will happen tomorrow night and everything that will happen the years after – all of that was laid right here in Livingston, this wonderful place where I grew up,” said Christie. “…I don’t know whether any of us could have possibly imagined that a day like today could actually come for one of us. But here it is, and like it or not, it’s me,” said Christie.
Christie also explicitly hit Gov. Jon Corzine on the outsider status that his campaign has hinted at for months.
“Is there any way in hell we’re going to let a guy from Illinois beat a guy from Livingston tonight?” he said.
Christie called Corzine a “desperate guy” who is “desperately holding onto power.”
Although not explicitly addressing the polls that show the race in a statistical dead heat, Christie remarked on the fact that he’s still in the race despite the state’s Democratic tile.
“Here we are in November and let me tell you: after Jon Corzine has spent nearly $30 million in a state with 700,000 more Democrats than Republicans, and in a state that Barack Obama won last year by 15 points,” he said.
The crowd booed at the mention of Jon Corzine and the mention of the amount of money he’s spent. But they booed the loudest when Christie mentioned Obama’s margin of victory – even though Christie’s campaign has tried to identify itself with Obama, who remains relatively popular in New Jersey.
Christie was joined on stage by his running mate for lieutenant governor, Monmouth County Sheriff Kim Guadagno, and two former Republican governors: Tom Kean, a fellow Livingston native, and Christie Whitman.
“We’ve got a governor who looked tired the day he was elected. Tomorrow we’re going to give him the rest he wants so badly,” said Kean.
After the speech, Christie was scheduled to make one last stop at his campaign headquarters in Parsippany.