BRIDGEWATER – Surrounded by full-throated exuberant supporters, Gov. Chris Christie formally opened his campaign headquarters here in a squat, black and white office building on Route 22.
“Great news,” announced the governor with First Lady Mary Pat Christie at his side at the edge of a packed parking lot of supporters. “I thought it was impossible for the Democrats to nominate someone more liberal than Jon Corzine but they’ve done it.”
Christie denounced his likely general election opponent, state Sen. Sen. Barbara Buono (D-18), as a tax and spend champion dedicated to making government bigger and more bureaucratic. By contrast, “We’ve made government smaller and reduced spending,” said Christie, noting that his latest budget is smaller than Corzine’s 2008 budget.
Corzine came up more than a few times in the governor’s speech.
“After saving $120 billion over the next 30 years you won’t be surprised to know that I haven’t gotten the endorsement yet of one of the public sector unions affected by pension and benefits reforms,” Christie told the cheering crowd, “but I want the votes of their members and I will fight for the votes of every one of their members.”
But he won’t sell out to the leadership of those unions in order to land their support, he added, a slam on both Corzine and Buono.
Far ahead of Buono in the polls, Christie said he doesn’t care what the Democratic Majority Legislature does after June 30 because he seeks a GOP majority.
“We believe in the same core principles,” he said of his Republican allies, many of whom joined him in the sun, among them Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick (R-21), state Sen. Mike Doherty (R-23), Sen. Tony Bucco (R-35), Sen. Kip Bateman (R-16), Sen. Steve Oroho (R-24) and others. “We believe in a smaller government and lower taxes.”
At the close of his remarks, Christie discussed the difference between a job and a mission, and about how Hurricane Sandy reminded him he’s on the latter, and, acknowledging chants of “Four more years, four more years,” he’s not about to let anyone stand between him and his mission.
In response, Buono’s spokesman David Turner said, “Governor Christie refuses to accept responsibility for his disastrous policies. With more than 400,000 people looking for work and a shrinking middle class, he’s desperate to talk about anything other than New Jersey’s lagging economy.”