Lt. Gov. Says Chris Christie’s Not Really Buddies With Booker

AP

New Jersey Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno (R) disputed the notion in a recent interview with TPM that Gov. Chris Christie (R) is especially close with the state’s Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate, Newark, N.J. Mayor Cory Booker.

Guadagno discussed the a perception Christie and Booker enjoy unusually close ties in an interview on Saturday at an event hosted by a Republican organization in Berkeley Township, N.J.

“I mean, as a leader of the state, you have a responsibilities to all the people in the state. Your responsibility is to build up one of the largest cities in the state. That’s why they’re good friends, because you have to work together to bring businesses in to Newark, that’s one of our many responsibilities so in that sense its a cordial relationship,” Guadagno said of Christie and Booker. “But when it comes to decisions about what government should be or shouldn’t be, they couldn’t be any more different.”

Guadagno said positions on education are the “only common thread” between Booker and Christie.

“They do agree on education. Mayor Booker knows the the system in Newark is broken. And Mayor Booker knows that you have to fix the system and success shouldn’t depend on how much money you throw at it,” said Guadagno. “We send a billion dollars worth of federal tax dollars and state tax dollars to Newark. We should be helping children. … On the need to fix the schools, they agree and that’s the only common thread I would guess you had.”

Christie has endorsed Steve Lonegan over Booker in New Jersey’s special Senate election. Guadagno also dismissed the idea that Booker, who has a double-digit lead over Lonegan in the polls, is a lock to win the Senate race. While accidentally referring to Lonegan multiple times as a senator, Guadagno pointed to Booker’s fundraising in California as evidence Lonegan has a superior field organization in New Jersey that will help him earn a victory.

“Come on, come on, 16 points is nothing in New Jersey and senator — soon to be Sen. Lonegan has a ground game you haven’t even begun to see,” Guadagno said. “The difference between the senator — that Lonegan team and the Booker team is it’s a New Jersey ground game. Sen. Lonegan has a New Jersey ground game. It wasn’t bought and paid for by money coming from California. … Unfortunately, Mayor Booker had to go to California to get his ground game.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Hunter Walker is a national affairs reporter for TPM. He came to the site in 2013 from the New York Observer. He has also written for New York Magazine, Gawker, the Village Voice, Forbes, The Daily, and Deadspin. He can be reached at hunter@talkingpointsmemo.com

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