Christie pursues Corzine on loan proposal, Lonegan targets Christie on income tax

A day after competing with Steve Lonegan in a debate on NJN, Chris Christiekepthis sights on Gov. Jon Corzine,strenuously objecting toCorzine’s proposal totake outa $2 billion bridge loan to make up for a budget shortfall, even asquestions inevitably tugged Christieback to hisongoing fight with Lonegan, with three weeks remaining in the Republican primary.

Christie called Corzine’s bridge loan proposal “emblematic” of the governor’s poor economic stewardship.

Joined in a conference call with former Prediential candidate and flat tax champ Steve Forbes, Christie laid on a pro-business barrage by pledging as governor to “roll back over-zealous regulation,” which he said has created a toxic business climate in New Jersey. He also reiterated his desire to cut the corporate income tax.

In this, his second teleconference call at least with Christie, Forbes lauded the presumptive Republican frontrunner.

“Chris Chrisite has the radical progam we need,” said Forbes. “Businesses are not moving to this state and a key reason is because of taxes. This is a man who can get the job done the way Rudy Giuliani did in New York.”

Pressed to identify what he believes are the critical distinctions between himself and his primary opponent, Christie said he would cut income taxes across the board, implement 0-based budgeting every year, insist that any new or expanded program have a four-year sunset provision, and champion an elected state auditor.

“I also have a record of transparency going back to my freeholder days,” Christie said.

Operating with the argument that Christie is comparively liberal compared to their candidate, Lonegan’s team drew their own set of distinctions.

“Chris Christie supports progressive income taxes,” said Lonegan campaign strategist Rick Shaftan. “He sounds like Barack Obama on the subject, frankly. He has no specific and coherent plan to cut property taxes and he’s all over the map when it comes to court mandates like COAH (the Council on Affordable Housing) and Abbott schools funding.”

In their debate last night, Christie said he would continue the property tax rebate program, while Lonegan said he would discontinue the program and replace the relief with what he argues would be more foundational reforms.

Christie pursues Corzine on loan proposal, Lonegan targets Christie on income tax