Christie stays focused on Corzine as Lonegan pursues him

Chris Christie made a multi-stop swing through South Jersey over the weekend and kept his sites trained on Gov. Jon Corzine in a new television ad, while Steve Lonegan, as far as 23 points back in the latest Quinnipiac University poll, hammered the GOP frontrunner wherever he could in advance of their 101.5 radio debate tonight.

As Christie marched in Hamilton’s Memorial Day Parade, Lonegan blasted out a press release branding the former U.S. Attorney as a media darling. “The liberal-left is worried about a real conservative winning in a ‘blue’ state and are lining up behind Chris Christie,” read the release, citing endorsements from the Philadelphia Inquirer and local weekly the Hanover Eagle.

Not content to snipe from afar, Lonegan went into the heart of enemy territory to denounce campaign literature that the former mayor of Bogota said wrongly attacked his chief Warren/Hunterdon County ally, Assemblyman Mike Doherty (R-Washington Twp.), who’s challenging state Sen. Marcia Karrow (R-Raritan Twp.) in the June 2nd GOP Primary.

“The Christie-Karrow ticket chose Memorial Day weekend to put out a mail piece that accused Mike Doherty of supporting ‘Surrender in Iraq,’” Lonegan fumed outside of Christie campaign headquarters in Parsippany.

“Yesterday, a recorded telephone message was sent to households telling voters that Mike Doherty supports ‘Surrender in Iraq,’” Lonegan said. “Mike Doherty is a West Point graduate who served for eight years in the United States Army. Mike and his wife, Linda, have three grown sons in military service. Their son Ryan just returned from a tour of duty in Iraq with the United States Marine Corps. Their son Matt is set to be deployed to Iraq with the United States Army. Their son Jared is stationed on remote duty in South Korea with the U.S. Air Force.”

A supporter of former presidential candidate U.S. Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), who voted against the 2002 resolution giving President George W. Bush the authority to go to war, Doherty questioned the United States’ war policy in Iraq and what he said was the misapplication of the War Powers Act.

Backing up Doherty, "There isn't a single Republican official in all New Jersey with more at stake when it comes to the defense of America," Lonegan said. “The author of this attack on an American veteran is Chris Christie's political consultant, Jamestown Associates. Christie campaign chairman Joe Kyrillos and Co-chairman Tom Kean Jr. are Karrow's top supporters. Neither Mr. Christie or Senator Kean or Senator Kyrillos have ever served in the United States military. Karrow has not served. These people are shameless. They have no right to question the patriotism of Mike Doherty or his family."

Christie stays focused on Corzine as Lonegan pursues him