Thursday, October 28, 2010
Christie Live, In Moorestown Takes Aim At Lautenberg
The Governor is here at the Moorestown Community House right on Main Street in this old Quaker town and he's in front of a capacity audience in what used to be the gymnasium of the Community House.
People started lining up early in the morning to be here with the Governor.
The meeting began with a zippy new video with images of Christie at town meetings around the state and clips from his appearances in front of national media.
Once again, the Governor arrived to rousing applause and a standing ovation from an enthusiastic crowd.
Christie is continuing to push his reform agenda and he's noted that he's doing one to one-and-a-half town hall meetings every week, all over the state. He continues to chide the state legislature (particularly the Democrat majority in both chambers) to act.
On the platform with Christie are two of our favorite people, Assemblypersons Dawn Marie Addiego and Scott Rudder. On the way in we chat with Big Jon Runyan, the GOP congressional candidate here in the third district. Accompanied by his wife, Loretta, Jon is relaxed and appears confident as he heads into Tuesday's election. When I mention recent favorable polls to Runyan he says: "The only poll that matters is on election day." And, indeed he continues to work the crowd as we head toward the Big Day.
Back inside, here's the big zinger of the morning: Christie starts talking about the ARC (Access to the Region) tunnel project which was set to connect New Jersey and New York City and he explains why he killed the project: "The tunnel was was called "access to the REGION yet the only people in the region who were paying for it were New Jersey taxpayers. The tunnel would have connected to New York but New York City wasn't paying for it and New York state wasn't paying for it. Instead, we were."
And Christie says these projects always run over budget. "You know that from your own home improvement projects at home," Christie says. "You know how they wind up costing you more than you ever imagined."
The Governor then cites the "Big Dig" in Boston and says "that started out at about $2 billion and wound up costing $22 billion. I will not write a blank check. I will not do that to the taxpayers of New Jersey."
Christie says that unless someone can show him added sources of revenue (outside of New Jersey) the tunnel project is dead, kaput, finuto. "Don't talk to me about it. Don't ask me about it. I don't want to hear about it anymore, " he adds.
And then Christie takes a swipe at New Jersey Senator Frank Lautenberg who he says "is making a fool of himself" over the tunnel project. Lautenberg, a long time tunnel proponent has been critical of the Governor's stance. "I'm not going to let Frank Lautenberg push us around," Christie says.
"Now Frank Lautenberg doesn't usually do town halls like this," Christie adds."But if you happen to see Frank Lautenberg, go up to him and ask him how we're going to pay for the tunnel that he wants."
Christie tells that crowd that "we have plenty of roads and bridges to repair right here in New Jersey. Let's fix those."
Again Christie vows "I was elected to make decisions and to do what I said I was going to do. We don't have a revenue problem in New Jersey. We have a spending problem. I will not spend money we don't have."
Direct and candid as always, Christie delights in the town hall setting and relishes the give and take with the citizens.