By Matt Katz
Gov. Christie today blamed Republicans and Democrats for the government shutdown, saying "it's irresponsible of both sides to have allowed this to get where it's gotten."
Asked during an editorial board meeting with The Philadelphia Inquirer what he would do if he were in the Senate right now, his immediate response was this: "If I was in the Senate right now, I’d kill myself."
Here's my story in yesterday's paper about the first gubernatorial debate:
WAYNE, N.J. - In the first debate between candidates who disagree on just about everything, Gov. Christie on Tuesday presented a positive view of an economically strong New Jersey recovering from Hurricane Sandy while his challenger, State Sen. Barbara Buono, described a state struggling under "Romney-style" economics and far-right social conservatism.
The one-hour debate at William Paterson University, aired live on CBS3, began with a heavy focus on gay marriage, which Buono, a Democrat, supports and the Republican governor opposes, before moving on to property taxes, the minimum wage, and the Affordable Care Act.
EDISON - At the Edison Diner this morning, during a typical Jersey campaign stop at the Jerseyist of locations, Gov. Christie leaned over a table, looked a political opponent in the eyes, and had a compelling four-minute debate about gay marriage -- expanding on the issue like I had never heard him do before.
"I am going to say something," threatened Bert Bueno, who was dining with her long-ago New Brunswick High School classmate as Christie approached. "Why should everyone be kissing his ass?"
Up to that point, Republican loyalists and diner-goers were angling for selfies with, and autographs from, Christie. Then he got to Bueno's table.
Updated at 2 p.m. with response from Buono campaign.
Gov. Christie has new tax-and-spend ammo to fire against his opponent, Barbara Buono.
Turns out in Buono's first year of elected office ever, as a borough councilwoman in her hometown of Metuchen in 1993, she voted to raise property taxes 6.5 percent, according to borough budget documents gathered by the campaign. In a state taxed more than any other, in a state that hates taxes more than anything, this will be portrayed as Buono's original sin.
The bipartisan-themed Chris Christie Re-election Campaign reached extraordinary heights today, when the state's most powerful Democratic power broker shared the stage with the Republican gov for several minutes of teasing, praising and mutual admiration.
All this one month before the gubernatorial election.
Officially, Gov. Christie's visit to Camden was to mark the opening of the new $100 million MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper, as my colleague Emily Babay at Philly.com reported. But of more political significance was the fact that Christie was sharing the stage with some serious Democrats.
Remember Texas filibuster master Wendy Davis, the state senator who skyrocketed from obscurity to national fame on the heels of hot pink sneakers and an 11-hour filibuster over an anti-abortion bill? Davis lost her fight over the abortion bill, but yesterday she announced she is running for the Democratic nomination for Texas governor.
This is likely to be one of the more high-profile elections of 2014, because Texas is the second biggest state in the country, abortion is the backdrop and Davis is a political celebrity.
But Chris Christie is also a political celeb. And next year, assuming he wins re-election in November, Christie will be chairman of the Republican Governors Association -- traveling the country raising money for whatever Republicans are running against whatever Democrats.
Joseph "Joe D." DiVincenzo is known in political circles as the "North Jersey Democratic boss." He's also the Essex County executive, a possible future candidate for governor and a very public, very outspoken supporter of Gov. Christie. Just about everywhere Christie has gone in Essex County this campaign season, DiVincenzo has tagged along.
So the campaign of Democratic gubernatorial challenger Barbara Buono jumped on the news today that DiVincenzo faces millions of dollars in potential fines from the state Election Law Enforcement Commission over alleged campaign finance violations -- including using campaign donations to pay for a tuxedo, TV, gym membership and parking ticket. The Star-Ledger, which first investigated DiVincenzo over his use of campaign funds to take a trip to Puerto Rico, did the math: ELEC says he misused a total of $16,548 in campaign funds and failed to disclose 614 campaign expenditures worth $71,810.
Each violation carries a possible $6,800 fine.
If the House of Representatives was controlled by a hard-left wing of the Democratic party, and the White House was inhabited by a Republican named President Chris Christie, would the government shut down?
OK, Christie is still only running for reelection in New Jersey. But in a recent interview he left open the possibility of quitting early and running for president: "We'll see, I don't know. That's a decision I have to make further down the road." So it's reasonable to wonder what would happen if President Christie was hanging in the Oval office.
According to the would-be president himself, this is what he would do: