NEW BRUNSWICK – Gubernatorial candidate Sen. Barbara Buono – responding to comments Gov. Chris Christie made today – maintained her position that he had no business making himself the star of the “Stronger than the Storm” tourism ads.
Earlier Tuesday, Christie took a shot at Buono over her remarks about how seeing him on the shore did not inspire her to visit the beaches – a criticism of his weight, according to Christie.
At first, Buono said she would not dignify Christie’s comments made earlier today with a response, but she reiterated her oft-stated position that the tourism ads are thinly disguised campaign ads for Christie’s re-election.
“He should have highlighted businesses at the shore,’’ she said.
Later, the Buono camp responded to the governor’s criticism.
“Governor Christie seems to think that everything is about him,” campaign spokesman David Turner said in a statement. “First, he defended his starring role in a federally funded ad campaign as absolutely essential to storm recovery.
“Now, as businesses question the effectiveness of the campaign, he says that anyone who dares to question him is somehow attacking his weight. “It’s time for the Governor to toughen up and face the facts: his bluster and self-promotion have left business owners and residents across the state with one of the worst economies in the nation.”
Buono covered some other topics during a press conference at Rutgers University today to unveil her education platform.
On Senate President Steve Sweeney’s “pay it forward’’ plan to have students get a tuition break but agree to repay it later when they have a job, Buono would not commit to it one way or the other but said that would be one of many initiatives that she would subject to a comprehensive review if elected.
She hammered again at what she called the governor’s “singular focus” on tax credits to help corporations and said she would focus on tax breaks or credits for small-, women- or minority-owned businesses.
On security forces in schools, Buono said that in addition to having some of the strictest gun laws in the nation, New Jersey should ban the 50-caliber weapons – a measure recently vetoed by the governor.
She said what is needed are “common sense laws” guided by what’s best for the people, instead of laws that are guided by what is best for the governor.