Buono hammers at economic issues during kitchen table tour

TRENTON – Democratic gubernatorial nominee Barbara Buono touted her economic plan inside a Trenton home Thursday just blocks away from the New Jersey Statehouse, where she says a more middle-class friendly governor needs to reside.

The state senator visited the home of a capital city resident as part of her ongoing kitchen table conversations meant to highlight her economic vision if elected governor in November. Buono spoke a short time after state jobless numbers edged up slightly to 8.7 percent.

“[Gov. Chris Christie’s policies] landed us at the bottom of the economic barrel,” said Buono, declaring, “This is a governor who is focused on providing more advantage for those who already have it.”

Buono has accused Christie of “turning his back” on the state’s middle class and recently unveiled an economic vision she says will reconnect with New Jersey’s vast working class. At the most recent stop she was joined by two federal lawmakers who are both vying against one another in an election battle of their own.

“It’s appropriate that we are here rather than in a boardroom,” said Rep. Rush Holt, who was joined at the Trenton home of Lilian Hicks by Rep. Frank Pallone.

Both men agreed with Buono’s take, arguing Christie turned his back on the middle class and further harmed the state by not taking advantage of opportunities for economic growth handed down from the federal government, namely the ARC Tunnel, Pallone said.

“Barbara’s vision is an optimistic vision,” he said. “It’s just a shame that we’re not seeing that from this governor.”

Buono’s Trenton stop also comes on the heels of several statements put out by the Christie campaign from Democratic officials who have criticized her plan.

The latest attack came from Bloomfield Mayor Ray McCarthy, a self-described “Democrat since birth,” according to the campaign, who criticized Buono for “empty campaign rhetoric and failed policies.” Earlier in the week, the Democratic deputy mayor of Garfield, Tana Raymond, likened Buono’s plan to the failed economic policies under Christie’s predecessor.

Buono dismissed the criticisms Thursday, saying “everyone’s got an opinion” during an election cycle and accused her attackers of not even reading her plan.

“They haven’t read the plan if that’s what they think,” she said, referring to an Asbury Park Press editorial that labeled her plan “boilerplate.”

Buono hammers at economic issues during kitchen table tour