LONG BRANCH – A day after Gov. Chris Christie’s Democratic opponent released a web video showing Superstorm Sandy victims frustrated with the governor’s response to the storm, Christie accused the state lawmaker of “politicizing” the rebuilding efforts.
The governor responded Tuesday to a web ad released by Sen. Barbara Buono’s campaign earlier this week that highlighted a Neptune couple whose home was damaged by the storm. The couple took issue with Christie’s appearance in the “Stronger than the Storm” ads.
The Democrat seeking to unseat the Republican incumbent has criticized him for having a starring role in the taxpayer-funded ad.
During a shore news conference, Christie said he feels for the family and “for every family” that’s not back in their homes, but accused Buono of not understanding the purpose of the ad campaign.
“The Stronger than the Storm campaign was never meant to get people back in their homes and I don’t know why my opponent can’t understand that,” Christie said.
“It was about getting people back to the shore to get to the businesses,” he said, arguing the state’s shore business community would agree with him on the ad’s effectiveness.
“I think it’s unfortunate that my opponent wants to politicize the efforts that we made here … and somehow build political capital out of it,” he continued. “I think it’s unfortunate, but it’s not unexpected. I’m just going to continue to do my job.”
Buono’s campaign shot back at Christie Tuesday afternoon and again criticized the governor for appearing in what the lawmaker has argued is largely just a campaign ad.
“For someone whose administration selected a bid that was $2 million more so that he could star in commercials that amount to a campaign ad, Governor Christie is oddly defensive about a web video that highlights the real struggles many New Jerseyans are still living with every day,” said Buono campaign spokesman David Turner.