Christie downplays effect of Obama for Corzine

EAST BRUNSWICK — Chris Christie played it low key today, holding a living room sit-down with middle-class family just after Vice President Joe Biden stumped for Governor Jon Corzine a few miles away.

After he answered half-an-hour’s worth of friendly questions from hosts Allison and Dan Brown and their guests, Christie parried media questions that started by noting the Democratic heavy hitters coming to New Jersey this week, starting with Biden today, Bill Clinton tomorrow and President Obama on Wednesday.

When asked how he felt about the onslaught of Democratic stars into the state today, Christie said “I think the people of New Jersey understand that neither Joe Biden, nor Bill Clinton, nor President Obama are going to move into the State House in January and help run the place.”

Christie said it was good that Obama was coming to New Jersey.

“Even when he’s campaigning against me, it’s good for the people of New Jersey to see their president,” he said.

Christie will have one national Republican figure in-state for him, however. Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal will attend a Republican Governors Association fundraiser at a private home in Warren tonight. Although the RGA cannot coordinate with his campaign, it has spent several million dollars on television ads tearing down Corzine and independent Christopher Daggett.

The celebrity Democratic visits this week could coincide with a verdict in the corruption trial of former Bergen County Democratic Chairman Joseph Ferriero. Christie said that he had not been following the trial particularly closely, and would not speculate on whether a verdict would have any effect on the race, saying only “I wouldn’t have authorized the Assistant U.S. Attorneys to go and seek an indictment from the Grand Jury unless I believed the case was winnable against Joe Ferriero.”

When asked about Corzine’s $87,000 donation to Rev. Reginald Jackson last year – reported in the Ledger today – Christie said speculating about whether it influenced Jackson to endorse Corzine.

“That would only be speculative on my part,” he said. “All I would say is I think that’s why it’s so important to have transparency on this stuff.”

Christie downplays effect of Obama for Corzine