A confident and cursing Christie cruises South Jersey

Full report in Friday's Inquirer, here.

In one anecdote told to a raptured wall-to-wall crowd at the Gloucester County Republican headquarters today, Gov. Christie touched on three reasons for his tremendous lead in his re-election campaign: He appeals to Democratic constituencies, he is admired for his leadership after Sandy, and he is blunt enough to curse (twice) during a speech.

Christie recounted to the audience at the headquarters in Washington Township about how an 82-year-old African American woman from Newark, Gladys, recently told him that she didn’t vote for him in 2009. But she has since changed her mind, Christie said, because of his work in the aftermath of Sandy.

Worried about Christie after seeing him on the scene of the September boardwalk fire in Seaside, Gladys began saying this prayer for Christie every night: “Dear Lord, please give our governor strength, because I don’t know how much more s--t this boy can take.”

Christie said he has told this anecdote to fellow Republican Govs. Rick Snyder of Michigan and Scott Walker of Wisconsin. “Guys, you don’t understand, these are my people,” Christie told them.

“She was just a dignified woman, and then that comes out her mouth! I said, ‘Only in New Jersey.’ She had absolutely no hesitation about telling the governor that in her prayer for him she used the word ‘Lord’ and ‘s--t.’...That’s what it’s like being governor of New Jersey.”

Christie told the story at the second stop on the second day of his week-long 90-stop bus tour in advance of Tuesday’s gubernatorial election. While Christie travels around in a huge bus bearing his image, taking cell phone pictures with star-struck fans and saying little to the press, his opponent, State Sen. Barbara Buono (D., Middlesex) is keeping it more low-key and policy focused. On Thursday, she gave an address at Montclair State University about the rising cost of higher education.

Before he went to Washington Township Christie stopped in Cherry Hill at Ponzio’s Diner, known for being a meeting spot for local Democratic politicos.