Watch: Chris Christie goes negative in re-election bid

Updated
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie speaks to a large gathering in Manasquan, N.J., Thursday, March 21, 2013, during a town hall meeting. Christie answered...
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie speaks to a large gathering in Manasquan, N.J., Thursday, March 21, 2013, during a town hall meeting. Christie answered...
Mel Evans/AP Photo

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is crushing his likely opponent in this fall’s re-election campaign, but the GOP incumbent isn’t taking any chances.

In just his second campaign ad, Christie is going negative against Democratic state Sen. Barbara Buono, hitting her for voting for tax hikes and tying her to Christie’s predecessor.

“Meet Barbara Buono, Jon Corzine’s budget chair and now running for governor,” says the ad. “Buono voted 154 times to raise our taxes.”

The spot later transitions into praise of Christie, touting his four balanced budgets and education funding.

Christie’s first spot was overwhelmingly positive, with the minute-long ad touting the state’s job growth during his tenure and his efforts in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.

In the latest NBC News/Marist poll of the race, Christie had a more than two-to-one lead over Buono, 60% to 28% and soaring approval ratings. Fifty-seven percent of voters said they hadn’t even heard of Buono.

Christie cited One New Jersey, an outside group running ads opposing him, as one reason he’s hitting Buono so early.

“I would have run a purely positive campaign,” Christie told reporters on Monday, according to PolitickerNJ. “Special interest groups are attacking my record…I’m not going to be a heavy bag.”

“They started the fight but I’ll finish it,” said Christie.

Watch: Chris Christie goes negative in re-election bid

Updated