Barbara Buono wants to characterize New Jersey Governor Chris Christie as out of touch, someone who cares more about appearing on television than solving the state’s problems.
Buono, Christie’s Democratic challenger in this year’s governor race, did her best to close a large gap by attacking her opponent in a debate on Tuesday. The candidates sparred on a number of issues, including tax rates and same-sex marriage.
When asked why she had such a large gap — polls have given Christie a comfortable, double-digit lead — in a blue state, Barbara Buono accused her opponent of going for popularity rather than results. She noted his many late night television appearances.
“Politics is not supposed to be about entertainment. This is about you, your life and your children,” said Buono, a state senator.
Buono said that she thinks only of the people of New Jersey.
“I’m focused on the people of New Jersey,” she said. “There’s only one person that’s running for governor here, and you’re looking at her.”
Buono also pressed Christie on his plans to delay same-sex marriage, which would begin starting October 21 in the state.
Christie defended his stance.
“I believe that the institution of marriage for 2,000 years is between a man and a woman, and if they’re going to change that definition of marriage, I don’t think that should be decided by 121 politicians in Trenton or nine judges on the Supreme Court,” Christie said.
At the same time, Chris Christie went on the offensive against Buono. After she accused Christie of hurting the poor and middle class by raising property tax rates as well as bus and train fares, he noted that she was part of a legislative body that failed in its budgeting attempts.
“I know Senator Buono would never have to balance the budget that way,” he said. “I had to balance her budget when I came in in 2010.”
The debate between Barbara Buono and Chris Christe can be seen in its entirety here.