Barbara Buono challenges Chris Christie’s record


The Democratic gubernatorial candidate challenging Chris Christie in his re-election bid, Barbara Buono, appeared on msnbc’s The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell to clarify Chris Christie’s record on taxes, spending cuts, massacre control and education–topics the New Jersey governor all touched on in his first TV ad of his re-election campaign.

With a substantial buy of $1.2 billion, the Republican governor’s campaign began running the ad Wednesday in New York City and Philadelphia TV markets. Christie’s ad touts bipartisanship, saying his ability to reach out to both sides of the aisle got “New Jersey back on track.”

“Working with Democrats and Republicans, believing that as long as you stick to your principles, compromise isn’t a dirty word,” the narrator says.

“It is a little surprising,” Buono told O’Donnell, questioning the early ad buy. “It shows his numbers are artificially inflated because of Hurricane Sandy.”

The New Jersey State Senator, who has been backed by Newark Mayor Cory Booker, bashed the title of Christie’s ad, “Jersey Proud,” pointing out that New Jerseyans “are not proud of the governor’s record on unemployment” with over 400,000 still jobless.

“He’s living in some alternative universe where, you know, we are at the bottom of the barrel when it comes to economic growth, and yet he’s calling it a New Jersey comeback. I beg to differ and I’m going to change that,” Buono promised.

Buono also said the governor has had a failure of leadership on gun control. On Tuesday, parents of the Newtown shooting victims visited Trenton and met with Buono to discuss gun legislation.

While Christie does not support any limits on the size of magazine clips, Buono says magazine capacities should be reduced. “Hopefully we are going to have a meeting of the minds and pass something meaningful, because it is time to stand up to the gun lobby. Our children demand it. Our families demand it,” Buono said. “I can tell you this, I’m going to fight with every fiber in my being to get it passed. And if I don’t, when I’m governor, that will be one of the first priorities I have.”

New Jersey is currently weighing a new set of its own gun control laws. Governor Christie has announced his support for a bill to expand background checks for gun sales, to require parental consent for minors to buy violent video games, to ban purchases of particular assault rifles, and to allow courts and individuals to commit “potentially dangerous” people for mental health treatment.

Of New Jersey voters, 58% support stricter gun laws, including bans on high-capacity magazines, universal background checks, and laws that would prevent people with mental illnesses from buying guns. If the gun legislation passes, it would further expand the Garden State’s tough gun control laws.

Barbara Buono challenges Chris Christie's record