STATE—GOP gubernatorial candidate Chris Christie is trying to get voters to focus on the upcoming election as a choice between him and incumbent Jon Corzine, but he is often distracted on the campaign trail.
Christie has offered an array of issues contrasting himself with the current governor, sounding a message of change reminiscent of Barack Obama’s campaign last year.
Instead of talking about his plans to cut taxes, rein in state spending, or stop corruption through tough law enforcement and new ethics reforms, the challenger is frequently defending himself against political smears paid for with the incumbent’s Wall Street jackpot.
Corzine voted to confirm his appointment as U.S. Attorney and repeatedly praised his service before he launched a multi-million dollar smear campaign against GOP challenger Chris Christie.
“The incumbent needs to rip apart his adversary because voters focused on corruption and the faltering state economy do not believe Corzine is worthy of re-election,” said Democratic strategist James J. Devine, who says he won’t be voting for Corzine. “Like President George W. Bush in 2004, his only chance of victory lies in making the alternative seem worse.”
The incumbent’s massive advertising campaign has drawn attention away from the 88 ways to make New Jersey better listed on the challenger’s website at www.christiefornj.com and other details about Christie’s plans if elected.
“They may come in and say great things about Jon Corzine, but it’s not like Barack Obama or Bill Clinton is going to move in and run the Statehouse,” said Christie in response to questions about the parade of Democratic luminaries who have endorsed the incumbent.
“If you had Jon Corzine’s record, highest unemployment in 33 years, highest tax burden in America, highest property taxes in America, you’d want to talk about anything but that,” Christie said in an appearance on MSNBC.
“He’s trying to frame this race as a content between the incompetent and the evil,” said Christie. “He’s not even denying that he’s incompetent.”
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